Interaction Between Aromatic Oil Components and Bacterial Targets

  • Smaranika Pattnaik
  • Niranjan Behera


Aromatic and medicinal plants have been used as antimicrobial agents since time immemorial, though there has been a stark decline in the total quantitative use in recent times. Nonetheless they have been used, albeit with little or no precision in the knowledge of their modes of actions. Recent studies have indicated that different components of essential oils cause distinct types of injuries to microbial cells, each type of damage characteristic to one or more components of a particular essential oil. The damage to the microbial cells result from oxidative stress, protein dysfunction or membrane impairment. The modern interdisciplinary research has been successful in furthering our comprehension of the various chemotypes of essential oils as well as improving our insight on designing active compounds for use as antimicrobial agents and as alternatives to antibiotics. Here, we have briefly reviewed the chemical principles that underlie the antibacterial activity of some promising essential oils. We have also discussed the pros and cons of preferring compounds for specific microbial targeting. Further, we have emphasized on the possible steps to catalogue and leverage this uncharted fraction of the study of antibacterial properties of essential oils.



This chapter is part of DSc thesis (2018) submitted to Sambalpur University, Odisha, India.


  1. Acamovic T, Brooker JD (2005) Biochemistry of plant secondary metabolites and their effects in animals. Proc Nutr Soc 64:403–412PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Aoshima H, Hamamoto K (1999) Potentiation of GABA receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes by perfume and Phytoncid. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 63(4):743–748PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Bellamy W, Takase M, Wakabayashi H, Kawase K, Tomita M (1992) Antibacterial spectrum of Lactoferricin B, a potent bactericidal peptide derived from the N-terminal region of bovine Lactoferrin. J Appl Bacteriol 73(6):472–479PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Boire NA (2013) Essential oils and future antibiotics: new weapons against emerging ‘superbugs’? J Anc Dis Prev Rem 01(02):1–5Google Scholar
  5. Demain AL, Vaishnav P (2011) Natural products for cancer chemotherapy. Microb Biotechnol 4(6):687–699PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dickschat JS (2011) Biosynthesis and function of secondary metabolites. Beilstein J Org Chem 7:1620–1621PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Egamberdieva D, Mamedov N, Ovidi E, Tiezzi A, Craker L (2016) Phytochemical and pharmacological properties of medicinal plants from Uzbekistan: a review. J Med Act Plants 5(2):59–75Google Scholar
  8. Elisabetsky E, Brum LFS, Souza DO (1999) Anticonvulsant properties of linalool in glutamate-related seizure models. Phytomedicine 6(2):107–113PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Heilmann J (2010) New medical applications of plant secondary metabolites. In: Wink M (ed) Annual plant reviews, vol 39, (Functions and biotechnology of plant secondary metabolites, 2nd edn. Wiley Blackwell, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jones TH, Vail KM, McMullen LM (2013) Filament formation by foodborne bacteria under sublethal stress. Int J Food Microbiol 165(2):97–110PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Katiyar C, Gupta KS, Katiyar S (2012) Drug discovery from plant sources: an integrated approach. Ayu 33(1):10–19PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kemp JT, Driks A, Losick R (2002) Fts A mutants of Bacillus subtilis impaired in sporulation. J Bacteriol 184(14):3856–3863PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Latch JN, Margolin W (1997) Generation of buds, swellings, and branches instead of filaments after blocking the cell cycle of Rhizobium meliloti. J Bacteriol 179:2373–2381PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Maguire M, Coates ARM, Henderson B (2002) Chaperonin 60 unfolds its secrets of cellular communication. Cell Stress Chaperones 7(4):317–329PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mathe A (2015) Introduction, utilization/significance of medicinal and aromatic plants. In: Mathe A (ed) Medicinal and aromatic plants of world. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mogk A, Huber D, Bukau B (2011) Integrating protein homeostasis strategies in prokaryotes. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 3(4):1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mohanraj K, Karthikeyan BS, Vivek-Ananth RP, Bharath Chand RP, Aparna SR, Mangalapandi P, Samal A (2018) IMPPAT: a curated database of Indian Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Therapeutics. Sci Rep 8:4329PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Neckers L, Tatu U (2008) Molecular chaperones in pathogen virulence: emerging new targets for therapy. Cell Host Microbe 4(6):519–527PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pattnaik S (2018) Plant derived essential oils are the inducers of stress in bacterial cells of clinical relevance. In: Rakshit A, Tripathi VK, Chandola VK, Singh A, Sekhar S, Sarkar DR (eds) Innovative approach of integrated resource management. New Delhi Publishers, New Delhi, pp 163–173Google Scholar
  20. Pattnaik S, Subramanyam VR, Kole CR, Sahoo S (1995a) Antibacterial activity of essential oils from Cymbopogon: inter- and intra-specific differences. Microbios 84(341):239–245PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Pattnaik S, Subramanyam VR, Rath CC (1995b) Effect of essential oils on the viability and morphology of Escherichia coli (SP-11). Microbios 84(340):195–199PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Pattnaik S, Subramanyam VR, Bapaji M, Kole CR (1997) Antibacterial and antifungal activity of aromatic constituents of essential oils. Microbios 89(358):39–46PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Pattnaik S, Padhan DK, Jana GK (2010) Evaluation of cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, cardamom oil & Orange oil as antimicrobial agents. J Pharm Res 3(2):414–416Google Scholar
  24. Pattnaik S, Behera SK, Mohapatra N (2017) Homology modeling of FtsZ protein from virulent bacterial strains and its interaction with eucalyptol: an In silico approach for therapeutics. Bioinformatics 1:24870Google Scholar
  25. Ramawat KG, Goyal S (2009) Indian herbal drugs scenario in global perspectives. In: Ramawat KG, Merillon JM (eds) Bioactive compounds and medicinal plants. Springer, Heidelberg, p 323Google Scholar
  26. Rates SM (2001) Plants as source of drugs. Toxicon 39(5):603–613PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rehman R, Asif Hanif M (2016) Biosynthetic factories of essential oils: the aromatic plants. Nat Prod Chem Res 04(04):227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sabate R, De Groot NS, Ventura S (2010) Protein folding and aggregation in bacteria. Cell Mol Life Sci 67(16):2695–2715PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Schaffner-Barbero C, Martín-Fontecha M, Chacón P, Andreu JM (2012) Targeting the assembly of bacterial cell division protein FtsZ with small molecules. ACS Chem Biol 7(2):269–277PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Schulz B, Boyle C, Draeger S, Ro A, Krohn K (2002) Endophytic fungi: a source of novel biologically active secondary metabolites. Mycol Res 106(September):996–1004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Siahsar B, Rahimi M, Tavassoli A, Raissi A (2011) Application of biotechnology in production of medicinal plants 1. Am J Agric Environ Sci 11(3):439–444Google Scholar
  32. Sun N, Chan FY, Lu YJ, Neves MAC, Lui HK, Wang Y et al (2014) Rational design of berberine-based FtsZ inhibitors with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. PLoS One 9(5):e97514PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Torres-Barcelo C, Cabot G, Oliver A, Buckling A, MacLean RC (2013) A trade-off between oxidative stress resistance and DNA repair plays a role in the evolution of elevated mutation rates in bacteria. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci 280(1757). PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Turek C, Stingzing FC (2013) Stability of essential oils: a review. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 12:40–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Turner GW, Croteau R (2004) Organization of monoterpene biosynthesis in Mentha. Immunocytochemical localizations of geranyl diphosphate synthase, limonene-6-hydroxylase, isopiperitenol dehydrogenase, and pulegone reductase. Plant Physiol 136(4):4215–4227PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Van Wyk BE, de Wet H, Van Heerden FR (2008) An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants in the southeastern Karoo, South Africa. S Afr J Bot 74(4):696–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Vedyaykin AD, Vishnyakov IE, Polinovshaya VS, Khodorkovskii MA, Sabansev AV (2016) New insights into FTsZ rearrangements during the cell division of Escherichia coli from single molecule localization microscopy of fixed cells. Microbiologyopen 5(3):378–386PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vega-Cabrera LA et al (2017) Analysis of Spo0M function in Bacillus subtilis. PLoS One 12(2):1–24. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Vikram P, Chiruvella KK, Ripain IHA, Arifullah M (2014) A recent review on phytochemical constituents and medicinal properties of Kesum (Polygonum minus Huds.). Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 4(6):430–435PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wink M (2015) Modes of action of herbal medicines and plant secondary metabolites. Medicines 2(3):251–286PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Young KD (2006) The selective value of bacterial shape. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 70(3):600–703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zielińska S, Matkowski A (2014) Phytochemistry and bioactivity of aromatic and medicinal plants from the genus Agastache (Lamiaceae). Phytochem Rev 13(2):391–416PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Smaranika Pattnaik
    • 1
  • Niranjan Behera
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology and BioinformaticsSambalpur UniversityBurlaIndia
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesSambalpur UniversityBurlaIndia

Personalised recommendations