Journal of
Horticulture and Forestry

  • Abbreviation: J. Hortic. For.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9782
  • DOI: 10.5897/JHF
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 314

Full Length Research Paper

Enhanced UV-B radiation alters basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) growth and stimulates the synthesis of volatile oils

Xianmin Chang1*, Peter G. Alderson2 and Charles J. Wright2
  1Agronomy Institute, Orkney College UHI, East Road, Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1LX, UK. 2Division of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, School of Biosciences, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD, UK.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 19 March 2009
  •  Published: 30 April 2009



Exposure of basil plants (Ocimum basilicum) in a controlled environmental room temperature to supplementary UV-B light for 3 h per day in the early morning over a period of two weeks resulted in shorter plants with higher dry matter, thicker leaves and more axillary shoots. Supplementary UV-B did not affect plant leaf area or number of leaf-pairs; however, specific leaf area was significantly increased due to increase in leaf thickness. Analysis of volatile oils by TD-GC/MS in fresh leaf samples harvested after one and two weeks of treatment showed that UV-B also stimulated the synthesis of the phenyl-propanoid, eugenol and the terpenoids 1, 8-cineole and linalool. There was no effect on volatile oil composition.


Key words: Ocimum basilicum, basil, growth, essential oil composition, 1, 8-cineole, linalool, eugenol, UV-B.