The total phenolic and flavonoid contents and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reduction antioxidant power (FRAP) antioxidant capacities of 19 accessions of Salvia officinalis from the sage collection of the genebank in Gatersleben (Germany) were evaluated. The major phenolic compounds of sage, that is, rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, carnosol, and carnosic acid, were quantified by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The aerial parts of different individual plants of each accession were collected in two consecutive years from the same experimental field at the beginning of their flowering period. The results demonstrated a high variability between accessions. A general decreasing tendency from 2007 to 2008 was observed in most of the estimated parameters, that is, total phenolic, total flavonoid, rosmarinic acid, and caffeic acid contents and DPPH antioxidant activity. A slight opposite trend was obtained with the FRAP antioxidant capacity. Low but variable quantities of carnosol and carnosic acid were evaluated in the sample extracts. Individual plants within accessions were identified with high phenolic content and strong antioxidant activity. The rosmarinic acid content showed up to 8-fold differences between the lowest and the highest values. Overall, the study demonstrated a high variability in secondary metabolites present in sage, which could be used for breeding of highly antioxidative genotypes of S. officinalis.
Antioxidants/analysis* Cinnamates/analysis* Databases, Nucleic Acid Depsides/analysis* Genotype Germany Plant Extracts/analysis* Salvia officinalis/chemistry* Salvia officinalis/genetics