In the aim of valorizing aromatic and medicinal plants from Morocco, this work focuses on the chemical characterization and antimicrobial activity of Pelargonium asperum essential oil against 11 microbial strains causing problems in the medical and food domain. The chemical profile of the volatile oil was investigated by GC/MS. The major compounds were citronellol (26.98%), geraniol (14.12%), isomenthone (8.80%), linalool (4.97%), citronellyl formate (3.1%), followed by geranyl formate (4.07%) and guai-6,9-diene (4.24%). The results of antimicrobial activity by using the broth microdilution method indicated that essential oil of Pelargonium asperum exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against all tested microorganisms with the strongest inhibitory effect against yeasts. The MICs values ranged from 0.003% to 0.25% (v/v) for all strains, except Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which was least susceptible and inhibited by 2% (v/v). These results suggest that Pelargonium asperum oil could be used for the development of new antimicrobial agents.
Keywords: Pelargonium asperum; essential oil; antimicrobial activity; bacteria; fungi.