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Molecular Phylogeny and Phytochemistry of the Genus Origanum

Abstract
Origanum (Nepetoideae, Lamiaceae) is a taxonomically complex genus that includes economically important species such as marjoram (Origanum majorana) and oregano (diverse members of the genus) which has been used as aromatic and medicinal plants. The intrageneric classification of Origanum is complicated and an issue of debate due to natural hybridisations. The aim of the molecular part of this project is to test the monophyly of the genus and to assess phylogenetic relationships of Origanum species by using DNA sequence data.
The plant secondary compounds mainly responsible for the economic use of Origanum species are the mono- and sesquiterpenes (essential oil compounds) which show sensorial and partly antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
The aim of the phytochemical part of this project is to fill up gaps in knowledge about the essential oil composition of Origanum species. Moreover the variability of polyphenols and antioxidant activity between species and within populations of selected species will be investigated. The occurence of arbutin within the genus will be studied to give advice which species should be avoided when producing oregano.
Project leader
Novak Johannes
Duration
01.10.05-30.09.08
Type of Research
Basic research
Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds
Funded by
FWF - Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria

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5 Publications

Lukas, B; Samuel, R; Mader, E; Baser, KHC; Duman, H; Novak, J (2013): Complex evolutionary relationships in Origanum section Majorana (Lamiaceae). Bot J Linn Soc (171), 4 667-686.

Novak, J; Lukas, B; Franz, C (2010): Temperature Influences Thymol and Carvacrol Differentially in Origanum spp. (Lamiaceae). J Essent Oil Res (22), 5 412-415.

Lukas, B; Schmiderer, C; Mitteregger, U; Novak, J (2010): Arbutin in marjoram and oregano. Food Chem (121), 1 185-190.

Mader, E; Lukas, B; Novak, J (2008): A strategy to setup codominant microsatellite analysis for high-resolution-melting-curve-analysis (HRM). BMC Genet. 2008; 9:69
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Lukas, B; Samuel, R; Novak, J (2006): Molekulare Phylogenie der Gattung Origanum. 12. Österreichisches Botanikertreffen, Kremsmünster, OÖ, 21.-24.09.2006. 12. Österreichisches Botanikertreffen, Kremsmünster, OÖ, 21.-24.09.2006.

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