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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/75615
- Activity of essential oils against Bacillus subtilis spores
- Lawrence, Hayley A.; Palombo, Enzo A.
- Alternative methods for controlling bacterial endospore contamination are desired in a range of industries and applications. Attention has recently turned to natural products, such as essential oils, which have sporicidal activity. In this study, a selection of essential oils was investigated to identify those with activity against Bacillus subtilis spores. Spores were exposed to 13 essential oils, and surviving spores were enumerated. Cardamom, tea tree, and juniper leaf oils were the most effective, reducing the number of viable spores by 3 logs at concentrations above 1%. Sporicidal activity was enhanced at high temperatures (60 degrees C) or longer exposure times (up to 1 week). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis identified the components of the active essential oils. However, none of the major oil components exhibited equivalent activity to the whole oils. The fact that oil components, either alone or in combination, did not show the same level of sporicidal activity as the complete oils suggested that minor components may be involved, or that these act synergistically with major components. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine spores after exposure to essential oils and suggested that leakage of spore contents was the likely mode of sporicidal action. Our data have shown that essential oils exert sporicidal activity and may be useful in applications where bacterial spore reduction is desired.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences. Environment and Biotechnology Centre
- Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol. 19, no. 12 (Dec 2009), pp. 1590-1595
- Publication year
- Bacillus subtilis; Endospores; Essential oils; Scanning electron microscopy; Sporicidals
- Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology.
- Peer reviewed