The essential oil from leaves of Eucalyptus pellita F. Muell. was obtained by the hydrodistillation method and forty-three compounds in quantities higher than 0.02% were detected by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis. The α-pinene (27.19% of the total amount) was the major component, followed by limonene (23.84%) and 1,8-cineole (19.01%), and considerable quantities of p-cymene, α-terpineol and γ-terpinene were identified too. Compounds such as 1,8-cineole and α-terpineol had not been previously reported in this essential oil. The antibacterial activity of the essential oil on Escherichia coli,Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis ATCC strains was evaluated by the agar disc diffusion method. The essential oil was active against all tested microorganisms with inhibition zone diameters from 8 to 24 mm; although a high activity (effective) against Gram-positive strains was observed.
Key words: Essential oil, chemical composition, antibacterial activity, Eucalyptus pellita.
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