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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2016, Article ID 3694901, 7 pages
Research Article

Origanum majorana Essential Oil Lacks Mutagenic Activity in the Salmonella/Microsome and Micronucleus Assays

1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
2Laboratório de Produtos Naturais/Fitoquímica-Farmacologia e Toxicologia Veterinária, Departamento de Farmacologia, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
3Laboratório de Farmacognosia e Controle de Qualidade de Fitomedicamentos, Faculdade de Farmácia, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
4Laboratório de Reparação de DNA em Eucariotos, Departamento de Biofísica/Centro de Biotecnologia, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
5Programa de Pós-Graduação em Farmacologia e Terapêutica, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Received 11 July 2016; Accepted 9 October 2016

Academic Editor: Mugimane Manjanatha

Copyright © 2016 Andrea dos Santos Dantas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro mutagenic activity of Origanum majorana essential oil. The most abundant compounds identified by GC-MS were γ-terpinene (25.73%), α-terpinene (17.35%), terpinen-4-ol (17.24%), and sabinene (10.8%). Mutagenicity was evaluated by the Salmonella/microsome test using the preincubation procedure on TA98, TA97a, TA100, TA102, and TA1535 Salmonella typhimurium strains, in the absence or in the presence of metabolic activation. Cytotoxicity was detected at concentrations higher than 0.04 μL/plate in the absence of S9 mix and higher than 0.08 μL/plate in the presence of S9 mix and no gene mutation increase was observed. For the in vitro mammalian cell micronucleus test, V79 Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts were used. Cytotoxicity was only observed at concentrations higher than or equal to 0.05 μg/mL. Moreover, when tested in noncytotoxic concentrations, O. majorana essential oil was not able to induce chromosome mutation. The results from this study therefore suggest that O. majorana essential oil is not mutagenic at the concentrations tested in the Salmonella/microsome and micronucleus assays.