Biological and chemo-diverse characterization of Amazonian (Ecuador) Citrus petitgrains


  • Alessandra Guerrini University of Ferrara
  • Damiano Rossi
  • Alessandro Grandini
  • Laura Scalvenzi Universidad Estatal Amazònica (Puyo)
  • Paco Fernando Noriega Rivera Universidad Politecnica Salesiana (Quito)
  • Elisa Andreotti University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
  • Massimo Tacchini
  • Antonella Spagnoletti
  • Irene Poppi
  • Silvia Maietti
  • Gianni Sacchetti



Ecuadorian Citrus petitgrains, chemical fingerprinting, antioxidant activity, antimicrobial activity, antifungal activity


Six Amazonian petitgrains samples from C. nobilis Lour., C. aurantium L., C. limon L. and mixture of Citrus spp.(Rutaceae), named CN, CA, CL1, CL2, C1 and C2, were chemically characterized by GC-MS and 13C NMR and evaluated for antioxidant acitivity (DPPH and b-carotene bleaching tests), for antimicrobial properties (disk diffusion method) and for antifungal capacity (agar vapour assay). CN, C1, C2 samples evidenced the most interesting results: CN (g-terpinene/linalool chemotype: 14.3%/41.6%, with a considerable amount of thymol: 9.0%), and C1 (linalool, 18.3%; sabinene, 11.6%; thymol, 5.5%), showed relevant antioxidant activity with both DPPH (IC50=3.52 and 5.48 mg/ml, respectively) and b-carotene (IC50=0.387and 0.491 mg/ml, respectively). Antibacterial properties of CN and C1 against P. mirabilis (MIC=0.61 mg/ml for both)and B. subtilis (MIC=0.61 and 0.44 mg/ml, respectively) were most probably due to thymol.C2 (geranial: 34.7%, neral: 33.1%) evidenced a valuable bioactivity against Candida albicans (MIC=0.44 mg/ml).The 50% growth inhibition (IC50) of the dermatophytes T. mentagrophytes and N. cajetani was reached with amounts ofC1, C2 and CN less than 4 ml/plate. Bioactivity of Amazonian Citrus spp. CN, C1 and C2 essential oils suggests their potential use as food preservatives or additives in cosmeceuticals as preventive against dermatophytic fungal infections.

Author Biographies

Alessandra Guerrini, University of Ferrara

Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology (SVeB)

Laura Scalvenzi, Universidad Estatal Amazònica (Puyo)

Promociòn de la investigatiòn

Paco Fernando Noriega Rivera, Universidad Politecnica Salesiana (Quito)

Centro de Investigatiòn y Valoración de la Biodiversidad "CIVABI"

Elisa Andreotti, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

Department of Life Sciences