The chemical composition of the essential oils of Melaleuca armillaris Sm., Melaleuca styphelioides Sm. and Melaleuca acuminata F. Muell., collected in Tunisia, was studied by means of GC and GC-MS analysis. In all, 46 compounds were identified, 38 for M. armillaris, 20 for M. acuminata and eight for M. styphelioides, respectively. The presence of a sesquiterpenic fraction (52.2%) characterized the oil from M. armillaris; M. sthypheliodes oil was rich in methyl eugenol, a phenolic compound (91.1%), while M. acuminata oil is mainly constituted by oxygenated monoterpenoids (95.6%). The essential oils were evaluated for their in vitro potentially phytotoxic activity against germination and initial radicle growth of Raphanus sativus L., Lepidium sativum L., Sinapis arvensis L., Triticum durum L. and Phalaris canariensis L. seeds. The radicle elongation of five seeds was inhibited at the highest doses tested, while germination of all seeds was not affected. Moreover, the essential oils showed low antimicrobial activity against eight selected microorganisms.
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