Protective effect of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) against oxidative DNA damage and mutagenesis

Berić T, Nikolić B, Stanojević J, Vuković-Gacić B, Knezević-Vukcević J
Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008


Mutagenic and antimutagenic properties of essential oil (EO) of basil and its major constituent Linalool, reported to possess antioxidative properties, were examined in microbial tests. In Salmonella/microsome and Escherichia. coli WP2 reversion assays both derivatives (0.25–2.0 μl/plate) showed no mutagenic effect. Salmonella. typhimurium TA98, TA100 and TA102 strains displayed similar sensitivity to both basil derivatives as non-permeable E. coli WP2 strains IC185 and IC202 oxyR. Moreover, the toxicity of basil derivatives to WP2 strains did not depend on OxyR function. The reduction of t-BOOH-induced mutagenesis by EO and Linalool (30–60%) was obtained in repair proficient strains of the E. coli K12 assay (Nikolić, B., Stanojević, J., Mitić, D., Vuković-Gačić, B., Knežević-Vukčević, J., Simić, D., 2004. Comparative study of the antimutagenic potential of vitamin E in different E. coli strains. Mutat. Res. 564, 31–38), as well as in E. coli WP2 IC202 strain. EO and Linalool reduced spontaneous mutagenesis in mismatch repair deficient E. coli K12 strains (27–44%). In all tests, antimutagenic effect of basil derivatives was comparable with that obtained with model antioxidant vitamin E. Linalool and vitamin E induced DNA strand breaks in Comet assay on S. cerevisiae 3A cells, but at non-genotoxic concentrations (0.075 and 0.025 μg/ml, respectively) they reduced the number of H2O2-induced comets (45–70% Linalool and 80–93% vitamin E). Obtained results indicate that antigenotoxic potential of basil derivatives could be attributed to their antioxidative properties.


Berić T, Nikolić B, Stanojević J, et al. Protective effect of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) against oxidative DNA damage and mutagenesis. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008;46(2):724-732.

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