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International Journal of Applied Research and Studies (iJARS)

ISSN: 2278-9480 Volume 3, Issue 8 (August - 2014)

Research Article

GC-MS Studies on the Steam-distillate of the Medicinally

Important Plant Cleome gynandra L.

Partha Pradip Adhikari*, 2Satya B. Paul,
ManabendraDutta Choudhury, 4Sudip Choudhury

Address For correspondence:

Department of Chemistry, Assam University, Silchar-788011, India
Department of Life Science and Bioinformatics, Assam University, Silchar-788011, India

The steam distillate of the medicinally important plant Cleome gynandra has been investigated through the
Hyphenated technique of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS). The distillate incorporated
seven major volatile components. Probable structure of one of the major components has been elucidated.
Keywords: Cleome gynandra, GC-MS, volatile components.

Cleome is a genus included in the Cleomaceae (formerly capparaceae), of many species found in
tropical and sub-tropical regions of the whole world. Cleomaceae, a flowering plants is a small family in the
order Brassicales, comprising more than 300 species belonging to 9 genera of which Cleome is the largest
genus with about 180 - 200 species of medicinal, ethnobotanical, ecological importance1. Various species of
cleome are used medicinally in Indo-China, Philippines, Island, North and Central America. The genus
Cleome is under constant evolution, many species show a developmental progression from C3
photosynthesis to C4 photosynthesis. There is a short and scattered work in the genus Cleome2,3,4. Cleome
gynandra is an abundantly available species and grows as a weed throughout the world. Favourable growing
conditions require adequate soil moisture, high light intensity and temperatures of 18-25 oC. In different
countries of the world, Cleome gynandra is used in traditional medicinal system and is having remarkable
nutritional and antioxidant properties5,6,7.

Synonyms of Cleome gynandra L.

Gynandropsis gynandra (Linn) Merr.
Gynandropsis gynandra (L) Briq.
Cleome pentaphylla L.
Pedicellaria pentaphylla (L.)
Gynandropsis pentaphylla (L.) DC.
G ynandropsis. denticulata DC.
Cleome acuta Schum *Corresponding Author E-Mail Id DOI: 10.20908/ijars.v3i8.7473

Manuscript Id: iJARS/956 1

International Journal of Applied Research and Studies (iJARS)
ISSN: 2278-9480 Volume 3, Issue 8 (August - 2014)

Taxonomic position of Cleome gynandra L. is as follows8.

Kingdom : Plantae
Division : Angiosperms
Class : Dicotyledones
Order : Capparidales (Capparales)
Family : Cleomaceae
Genus : Cleome
Species : Gynandra

Figure 1: Cleome gynandra Linn. at its flowering stage available in different parts of Barak Valley, Assam.

Thousands of plant volatiles of strongly smelling annual weed act as communicators, deterants to predators
also the same finds application as perfumes, food additives, green pest managements etc9,10,11. Cleome
gynandra L. a strongly smelling annual weed, was reported to be endowed with anti-pest properties.
Hyphenated technique of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) reported earlier 1,2-benzene
dicarboxylic acid diisooctyl ester (Wiley 272273) was in 56.4% relative amount11. The present paper reports
new findings of the authors on the steam-volatiles of Cleome gynandra L. using hyphenated GC-MS, which
does not correlate with the same environmental and genotype involved in the region.


Cleome gynandra L. growing in various parts of Barak Valley of Assam (India) was collected during
December, 2013 - January, 2014, at its flowering stage. The plant was identified at Botanical Survey of
India, Kolkata, India.

For steam distillation, fresh aerial part of Cleome gynandra L. (100g) was cut into small pieces and
hydrodistilled using a Clevenger type apparatus. The condensates were extracted in diethyl ether, dried by
anhydrous Na2SO4 and were stored at 50C in sealed glass vial until used for analysis.


The GC-MS data were obtained on a PerkinElmer Clarus680 GC/600C MS instrument. GC column
was a fused silica capillary 0.25mm x 50m with film thickness of 0.25 . The initial temperature was 1000C
for 6 min, which was heated to 2500C at the rate of 100C min-1. Carrier gas used helium at flow rate of 2ml
min-1. The MS was operated at 70 eV and 2500C. Component peaks were recorded against retention time
(min) and components were analyzed by recording MS.

Manuscript Id: iJARS/956 2

International Journal of Applied Research and Studies (iJARS)
ISSN: 2278-9480 Volume 3, Issue 8 (August - 2014)


The strong smell in the plant indicates that some characteristic metabolite specific to the plant may
be present in the volatile segment, which may have the potential for being a aroma-therapeutic principle. The
Gas Chromatogram (GC) is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: The Gas Chromatogram of the steam distillate of Cleame gynandra L.

The Chromatogram exhibited seven major peaks at different retention times. Out of those, the Mass
spectrum (MS) corresponding to the compound (Coded as G1) at the most prominent peak with retention
time of 22.07 minutes was further analyzed. The MS is shown in the Figure 3. The MS of the compound G1
exhibited molecular ion peak at m/z 254 and [M+1] peak at m/z 255.

The compound showed [M-CH3] and [M-C2H5] peaks as well. These fragmentation along with other
MS peaks, were considered for the tentative elucidation of the structure of the compound G1. The MS
fragmentation profile augmented on the projected structure of G1 is presented in Figure 3.

Manuscript Id: iJARS/956 3

International Journal of Applied Research and Studies (iJARS)
ISSN: 2278-9480 Volume 3, Issue 8 (August - 2014)

Figure 3: Mass Spectrum of G1


The GC-MS investigation on the steam volatile components of the pink variety of the plant Cleome
gynandra L. is reported for the first time in this work. Now-a-days, GC-MS profile of a plant is becoming
very important for differentiating metabolite profile occurring due to different habitat, climate, environment
etc. This aspect is of particular interest for this pink variety of Cleome gynandra, which available in North
East India (Cleome gynandra, growing in other places are the white variety.). The steam distillate of the
plant contains seven major components along with few very minor ones. Being a strong smelling
medicinally important plant, it is expected that, the volatile components may possess aroma-therapeutic

Manuscript Id: iJARS/956 4

International Journal of Applied Research and Studies (iJARS)
ISSN: 2278-9480 Volume 3, Issue 8 (August - 2014)

The authors are thankful to UGC, New Delhi for funding this work through a Major Research Project to
SBP. PPA is thankful to UGC, New Delhi for Research fellowship. The authors are also thankful the Biotech
Park, Guwahati, India for GC-MS analysis.


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Manuscript Id: iJARS/956 5