Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

MS Biology




Dr. Tinchun Chu

Committee Member

Dr. Jane L. Ko

Committee Member

Dr. Constantine Bitsaktsis


patchouli, Pogostemon cablin, natural products, antibacterial, molecular docking


Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin Benth. of the mint family Lamiaceae) is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) plant valued for its aromatherapy, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. This study examined the antibacterial effect of patchouli extract (PCE) on Grampositive Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) and Gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli) with microplate assays, CFU assays, fluorescent microscopy, molecular docking, and Omics data analysis. Microplate assay of E. coli and S. epidermidis showed that Pogostemon cablin extract (PCE) is bacteriostatic in E. coli with a MIC of 1.66 mg/ml PCE and in S. epidermidis with an MIC greater than 1.66 mg/ml PCE. Fluorescent microscopy and viability assays showed that 0.66 mg/ml PCE inhibited E. coli and 1.0 mg/ml PCE inhibited S. epidermidis growth, reduced the cell size, viability, and metabolic activity. The primary volatile organic compound patchouli alcohol (patchoulol) has been studied for its antiinflammatory and dermatological healing properties. Molecular docking shows multitarget effects of patchoulol (PA), particularly in inhibiting RNA Polymerase I (RNA Pol I) and cell wall synthesis in Penicillin Binding Protein 2 (PBP2), Phosphotransferase Domain of Resistance Enzyme AAC(6')-Ie-APH(2'')-Ia, (APH2), Lipopolysaccharide transport protein C (LptC), and O- acetyltransferase (OAT), with predicted free energies of binding of -6.7 kcal/mol to -7.8 kcal/mol. IPA pathway analyses indicate PA and related Lamiaceae volatile organic compounds are immune modulators through ROS synthesis and pro-apoptotic mechanisms of bacteriostatic and bactericidal action in E. coli and S. aureus. These findings suggest that patchouli has potential as an antimicrobial agent.

Available for download on Wednesday, May 20, 2026