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Ecological and biochemical studies on Artemisia absinthium in Al-Baha city, Saudi Arabia

Amal A. M. Al-Ghamdi

Artemisia absinthium is a known economic plant due to its high essential oil content. Besides playing a vital role in protecting plants, essential oils have several important uses in medicine, chemical and food-processing industries, and cosmetics. This study investigates the biochemical characteristics of A. absinthium and the soil where it thrived well. Soil and plant samples were collected from different sites at Al-Baha City, Saudi Arabia. Soil samples were analyzed for their physicochemical properties. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was utilized to identify the most abundant secondary metabolites in the water extract of the A. absinthium shoot. Then the extract was tested for its bioactivity on seed germination and seedling growth of Cucumis sativus. The results showed that the pH of soils where A. absinthium thrived was 7.88 (moderate alkalinity). Additionally, the soils had high organic matter content (approximately 48%). The soil consisted mainly of nitrogen (45.7% of the total soil minerals); potassium and calcium levels were recorded at around 190 mg/kg and 125 mg/kg of soil, respectively. Approximately 6.9% of the total soil minerals recorded consisted of magnesium. The phosphorus level was the lowest (11.04 mg/kg of soil). GC-MS analysis of A. absinthium water extract revealed a total of 23 components, with the main ones including davanone (58.5%) and (-)-camphor (16.0%). Although A. absinthium is rich in secondary compounds, its water extracts did not significantly influence the germination or growth of C. sativus seedlings.

To Cite this article: Al-Ghamdi, A.A.M. 2020. Ecological and biochemical studies on Artemisia absinthium in Al-Baha city, Saudi Arabia. Pak. J. Bot., 52(4): DOI:

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