Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 719–727 | Cite as

Effects of Mechanical Wounding on Essential Oil Composition and Emission of Volatiles from Minthostachys mollis

  • Erika BanchioEmail author
  • Julio Zygadlo
  • Graciela R. Valladares
Original Article


Plant tissues may show chemical changes following damage. This possibility was analyzed for Minthostachys mollis, a Lamiaceae native to Central Argentina with medicinal and aromatic uses in the region. Effects of mechanical damage on its two dominant monoterpenes, pulegone and menthone, were analyzed by perforating M. mollis leaves and then assessing essential oil composition at 24, 48, and 120 hr; emission of volatiles was also measured 24 and 48 hr after wounding. Mechanical damage resulted in an increase of pulegone and menthone concentration in M. mollis essential oil during the first 24 hr. These changes did not occur in the adjacent undamaged leaves, suggesting a lack of systemic response. Postwounding changes in the volatiles released from M. mollis damaged leaves were also detected, most noticeably showing an increase in the emission of pulegone. Inducible chemical changes in aromatic plants might be common and widespread, affecting the specific compounds on which commercial exploitation is based.

Key Words

Phytochemical induction aromatic plants Lamiaceae mechanical wounding monoterpenes pulegone menthone Minthostachys mollis 



This research was supported by a grant from the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas to E. Banchio.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erika Banchio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julio Zygadlo
    • 2
  • Graciela R. Valladares
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones Entomológicas, FCEFYNUniversidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina
  2. 2.Cátedra de Química Orgánica, FCEFYNUniversidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina

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