Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biotechnology Science and Engineering

Committee Chair

William N. Setzer

Committee Member

Carmen Scholz

Committee Member

Bernhard Vogler

Committee Member

Robert L. McFeeters

Committee Member

Hana McFeeters


Essences and essential oils., Gas chromatography., Mass spectrometry., Pharmacognosy., Natural products.


Based on the numerous side effects of synthetically-derived medicines, many people are trying to transform their lifestyles through naturopathy. Unfortunately, due to a lack of complete instrumental techniques and strict government regulation, adulteration of natural products is rampant all over the world. About 80% of commercially available, so-called “natural” essential oils are adulterated for economic profit. So to track adulteration, the Sat-Set Gas Chromatography-Linear Retention Index-Mass Spectrometry (GC-LRI-MS) library has been created. This extensive library contains 2,700 pure, complete mass spectra, including retention index, molecular weight, and formula information. Those mass spectra were collected from 590 different essential oil samples from 68 families as well as 150 different synthetically derived chemicals to track the synthetic markers of adulteration. This newly prepared library was also evaluated alongside four commercially available libraries (Adams 2007, FFNSC 1.2, NIST 11, and Wiley 10) based on their analysis of five blind essential oil samples. The result showed that the Sat-Set library is able to identify more than 90% of essential oil components while the others could not. This newly made library was also able to detect adulteration of commercial spearmint and thyme essential oil samples. During this project, chemotypically unique plants from Nepal and their bioactivities were also studied by using cluster analysis. Novel chemotyped plants include the following: lachnophyllum ester chemotyped Blumea lacera, myrcene-free chemotyped Cannabis sativa, cis-3-butyl-4-vinylcyclopentane chemotyped Cuscuta reflexa, eugenol and itaconic anhydride chemotyped Ficus religiosa, davanone chemotyped Lantana camara, (E)-β-farnesene chemotyped Matricaria chamomilla, 1(10)-Aristolen-9β-ol chemotyped Nardostachys grandiflora, linalool chemotyped Ocimum basilicum, and solavetivone chemotyped Solanum xanthocarpum essential oils. Among them, chromatographically isolated 1(10)-aristolen-9β-ol and (Z)-lachnophyllum ester have shown significant cytotoxic activities among other effects.



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