Characterization and chemosystematics of Algerian thuriferous juniper (Juniperus thurifera L.)


  • Azzeddine Zeraib Department of Biology Molecular, Abbes LAGHROUR University,40000 Khenchela, Algeria. Laboratory of Natural Resource Valorization, Ferhat Abbas University, 19000 Setif, Algeria.
  • Messaoud Ramdani
  • Lamia Boudjedjou
  • Pierre Chalard
  • Gilles Figuredo



essential oils, Juniperus thurifera L., polymorphism, chemosystematics.


Leaf essential oils of Juniperus thurifera L. collected at six locates from Aures Mountains in Algeria, were analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) for the first time. The main components identified were: sabinene (5.2–19.78%), terpinene-4-ol (5.43–9.37%), elemol (0.69–7.61%), δ-cadinene (3.26–6.11%). The results were submitted to principal component and cluster analysis which allowed two groups of essential oils to be distinguished: cluster I (Tkout 1, Tibhirine, Tizi nerrsas and El-Mahmel) containing a high percentage of sabinene, linalyle acetate, linalool, γ-terpinene, myrcene, and bulnesol, and cluster II (Tkout 2 and Chelia) characterized by a high content of valencene, γ-eudesmol, epi-α-cadinol, epi-α-muurolol, α-cadinol, and 4-epi-abietal. The chemovariation observed appears to be determined by the environment. Chemical composition of leaf essential oils of Algerian thuriferous juniper is similar to that of oils of J. thurifera from Moroccan populations, and different from that of essential oils obtained from European populations. Therefore, we propose to name the Algerian taxon: Juniperus thurifera subsp. africana var. aurasiaca Syst Nov.