Variation in volatile compounds from tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.) related to genetic and morphological differences of genotypes

Marjo Keskitalo, Eija Pehu, James E. Simon

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104 Scopus citations


Air-dried flower heads of 20 Finnish tansy genotypes were extracted with petroleum ether and analyzed using GC-MS. A total of 55 volatile compounds were detected, and 53 were identified. Of the tansy genotypes studied, 15 were well defined and five were mixed chemotypes. Complete linkage analysis differentiated the populations into six clusters. The most frequently found monoterpene was camphor with or without several satellite compounds such as camphene, 1,8-cineole, pinocamphone, chrysanthenyl acetate, bornyl acetate and isobornyl acetate. In 13 genotypes, camphor concentration exceeded 18.5% and in seven genotypes, camphor was less than 7.2%. Other chemotypes rich in trans thujone, artemisia ketone, 1,8-cineole, or davadone-D were also identified. Davadone-D and a mixed chemotype, containing tricyclene and myrcene, were identified from a Finnish tansy for the first time. Geographically, most chemotypes containing camphor originated from Central Finland, whereas chemotypes without camphor such as artemisia ketone, davadone D and myrcene-tricyclene originated from South or Southwest Finland. Morphologically, the 20 tansy chemotypes based on the groups formed from complete linkage cluster analysis, were compared. The group containing the highest concentration of camphor chemotypes had the tallest shoots. The groups consisting from chemotypes containing davadone-D or artemisia ketone, which originated from Southwest Finland, produced the highest number of flower heads, had the tallest corymb, and were last to flower. Also, the group consisting from chemotypes with a high concentration of camphor and originated from South Finland started to flower late. The correlation between the genetic distance matrices based on RAPD patterns reported previously (Keskitalo et al., 1998. Theor. Appl. Genet. 96, 1141-1150.) and the chemical distance matrices of the present study of the same tansy genotypes was highly significant (0.41, P<0.0001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-285
Number of pages19
JournalBiochemical Systematics and Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 28 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


  • Asteraceae
  • Davadone-D
  • Essential oils
  • Intraspecific variation
  • Monoterpenes
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Petroleum-ether extraction
  • Tanacetum vulgare L.

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