Essential oil variation among 21 wild myrtle (Myrtus communis L.) populations collected from different geographical regions in Iran
Myrtle (Myrtus communis L.) is an industrial medicinal plant with various pharmaceutical and nutritionalapplications. The leaf essential oils in 21 wild populations of myrtle collected from natural habitats wereinvestigated for their chemical components and oil yield diversity. The leaf essential oil yield ranged from0.6 to 1.4 ml/100 g based on dry matter. GC–MS analyses revealed 38 compounds, constituting 94.1–98.3%of the essential oils. The main constituents were -pinene, 1,8-cineole, limonene, linalool, -terpineol,and linalyl acetate. According to the results, two chemotypes were determined for Iranian myrtle popula-tions, including high -pinene/1,8-cineole, and high limonene/low -pinene groups. Among populationsthe Fars possessed the highest amount of -pinene and 1,8-cineole. The highest correlation coefficientwas between -pinene and 1,8-cineole (+0.90), while the highest negative correlation was between1,8-cineole and limonene (−0.90). The analyses indicated that populations collected from higher alti-tudes with loamy and clay soils, had higher amounts of -pinene and 1,8-cineole, while the populationscollected from sandy soils rich in organic matter possessed higher contents of limonene.