Water deficit effect on morphology, prolin content and thymol percentage of Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc Student, Department of agronomy and plant breeding, Agricultural College, University of Shahed, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of agronomy and medicinal plants research center, Agricultural College, University of Shahed, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of agronomy, Agricultural College, University of Tarbiat modares, Tehran, Iran


Water deficit stress, permanent or temporary, limits the growth and the distribution of natural vegetation and the performance of cultivated plants more than any other environmental factors. Mechanism involved is still not clear. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) is an important medicinal plant in perfume and medical industry. In this research, the effects of water deficit stress on growth, yield, metabolites compatible (prolin) and oil composition of thyme (thymol) were studied. Complete randomized block design with 4 treatments and 4 replications have been used in 2006. Water deficit levels included control (100% field capacity), mild stress (85% field capacity), medium stress (70% field capacity) and severe stress (55% field capacity). The statistical analysis showed that water deficit had significant effect on growth parameters, yield biomass, prolin and thymol. Water stress decreased plant height, number of secondary branches, dry and fresh weight growth and root mass, dry and fresh weight root and length root. In addition, thymol percentage and prolin content increased with severe stress (55% field capacity). Morphological yield with secondary metabolites prolin and thymol were obversed with water deficit changes.


- امیدبیگی، ر.، 1379. رهیافتهای تولید و فرآوری گیاهان دارویی. جلد اول، چاپ دوم، انتشارات طراحان نشر، تهران، 283 صفحه.
- حکمت شعار، ح.، 1372. فیزیولوژی گیاهان در شرایط دشوار. انتشارات نیکنام، تبریز، 251 صفحه.
- لباسچی، م.ح. و شریفی عاشورآبادی، ا.، 1383. شاخصهای رشد بدنی گونه‌های گیاهان دارویی در شرایط مختلف تنش خشکی، تحقیقات گیاهان دارویی و معطر ایران، 20(3): 261-249.
- Albouchi, A., Bejaoui, Z. and El Aouni, M.H., 2003. Influence d’un stress hydrique mode´ re´ ou se´ve` re sur la croissance de jeunes plants de Casuarina glauca. Se´ cheresse, 14: 137-142.
- Alkire, B.H., Simon, J.E., Palevitch, D. and Putievsky, E., 1993. Water management for midwestern peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) growing in highly organic soel. Indiana, USA. Acta Horticulture, 344: 544-556.
- Bajji, M., Lutts, S. and Kinet, J.M., 2001. Water deficit effects on solute contribution to osmotic adjustment as a function of leaf ageing in three durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) cultivars performing differently in arid conditions. Plant Sciences, 160: 669-681.
- Bannayan, M., Nadjafi, F., Azizi, M., Tabrizi, L. and Rastgoo, M., 2008. Yield and seed quality of Plantago ovata and Nigella sativa under different irrigation treatments. Industrial Crops and Products, 27: 11-16.
- Bates, I.S., Waldern, R.P. and Teare, I.D., 1973. Rapid determination of free prolin for water stress studies. Plant and Soil, 39: 205-207.
- Bauer, F. and Luf, W., 2002. Antioxidative effects of herbs in meat products II-slow down in fat changes. Institute for Applied Botany, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Funktionelle Pflanzenstoffe in der Veterinarmedizin, Vienna.
- Bettaieb, I., Zakhama, N., Aidi Wannes, W., Kchouk M.E. and Marzouk, B., 2009. Water deficit effects on Salvia officinalis fatty acids and essential oils composition. Scientia Horticulturae. 120: 271-275.
- Bohenert, H.J. and Shen, B., 1999. Transformation and compatible solutes. Scientia Horticulturae, 78: 237-260.
- Bruneton, J., 1999. Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry Medicinal Plants. Lavoisier Intercept, London, UK, 117-118.
- Charles, D. J. Simon, J. E. 1990. Comparison of extraction methods for the rapid determination of essential oil content and composition of basil. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 115(3): 458-462.
- Charles, O., Joly, R. and Simon, J.E., 1994. Effect of osmotic stress on the essential oil content and composition of peppermint. Phytochemistry, 29: 2837-2840.
- Estrada, B., Pomar, F., Do˜Aˆ az, J., Merino, F. and Bernal, M.A., 1999. Pungency level in fruits of the Padron pepper with different water supply. Scientia Horticulturae, 81: 385-396.
- Farooqi. A.H.A., Fatima, S., Ansari, S.R. and Sharma, S., 1999. Effect of water stress on growth and essential oil metabolism in Cymbopogon martini (plamerosa) cultivars. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 11: 491-496.
- Fatima, S., Farooqi. A.H.A, Ansari, S.R. and Sharma, S. 1999. Effect of water stress on growth and essential oil metabolism in Cymbopogon martini (plamerosa) cultivars. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 11: 491-496.
- Fatima, S.F., Farooqi, A.H.A. and Srikant, S., 2000. Effect of drought stress and plant density on growth and essential oil metabolism in citronella java (Cymbopogon winterianus). Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences , 22 (1B): 563-567.
- Gigord, L., Lavigne, C., Shykoff, J.A. and Atlan, A., 1999. Evidence for effects of restorer genes on male and female reproductive functions of hermaphrodites in the gyndioecious species T. vulgaris L. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 12(3): 596-604.
- Gzik, A., 1996. Accumulation of prolin and pattern of α-amino acids in sugar beet plants in response to osmotic, water and salt strees. Environmental and experimental botany, 36(1): 29-38.
- Hendawy, S.F. and Khalid, Kh.A., 2005. Response of sage (Salvia officinalis L.) plants to zinc application under different salinity levels. Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 1: 147-155.
- Igbadun, H.E., Mahoo, H.F., Tarimo,A.K.P.R., Salim, B.A., 2006. Cropwater productivity of an irrigated maize crop inMkoji sub-catchment of the Great Ruaha River Basin. Tanzania, Agricultural Water Management, 85: 141-150.
- Jones, H.G., Tardieu, F., 1998. Modeling water relations of horticultural crops: a review. Scientia Horticulture, 74: 21-46.
- Janssen, A.M., Scheffer, J.J.C. and Baerheim Svendsen, A., 1987. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils. A 1976-1986, literature review. Planta Medica, 53(5): 395-397.
- Kuznetsov, Vi.V. and Shevyakova, N.L., 1999. prolin under stress: Biological role metabolism and regulation. Russian Journal of Plant Physiology, 46(2): 274-287.
- Lazcano-ferrat, I. and Lovatt, C.J., 1999. Relationship between reative water content, nitrogen pools and growth of Phaseolus vulgaris L. and p. acutifolius A. Gray during water deficit. Crop Sciense, 39: 467-475.
- Letchamo, W. and A. Gasselin., 1996. Transpiration, essential oil glands, epicuticular wax and morphology of Thymus valgaris are influenced by light intensity and water supply. Journal of Horticultural Science,71(1): 123-134.
- Misra, A. and Srivastava, N.k., 2000. Influence of water stress on Japanese mint. Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants, 7: 51-58.
- Monteiro de Paula, F., Pham Thi, A.T., Vieira da Silva, J., Justin, A.M., Demandre, C. and Mazliak, P., 1990. Effects of water stress on the molecular species composition of polar lipids from Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. leaves. Plant Sciense, 66: 185-193.
-Monteiro de Paula, F., Pham Thi, A.T., Zuily Fodil, Y., Ferrari-Iliou, R., Vieira da Silva, J., Perry, N.B., Anderson, R.E., Brennan, N.J., Douglas, M.H., Heanney, A.J., McGimpsey, J.A. and Smallfield, B.M., 1993. Essential oils from dalmatian sage (Salvia officinalis L.): variations among individuals, plant parts, seasons and sites. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 47: 2048-2054.
- Muni Ram, D. and Singh, S., 1995. Irrigation and nitrogen requirements of Bergamot min on a sandy loam soil under sub-tropical conditions. Agricultural water management, 27: 45-54.
- Ngouajio, M.,Wang, G. and Goldy, R., 2007. Withholding of drip irrigation between transplanting and flowering increases the yield of field-grown tomato under plastic mulch. Agricultural water management, 87: 285-291.
- Pandey, R.K., Maranville, J.W. and Admou, A., 2001. Tropical wheat response to irrigation and nitrogen in a Sahelian environment. I. Grain yield, yield components and water use efficiency. European Journal of Agronomy , 15: 93-105.
- Petropoulos, S.A., Dimitra, D., Polissiou, M.G. and Passam, H.C., 2008. The effect of water deficit stress on the growth, yield and composition of essential oils of parsley. Scientia Horticulturae, 115: 393-397.
- Pham-Thi, A.T., Borrel-Flood, C., Vieira da Silva, J., Justin, A.M. and Mazliak, P., 1987. Effects of drought on [1-14C]-oleic and [1-14C]-linoleic acid desaturation in cotton leaves. Plant Physiology, 69: 147-150.
- Sarker, B.C., Hara, M. and Uemura, M., 2005. Proline synthesis, physiological responses and biomass yield of eggplants during and after repetitive soil moisture stress. Science Horticulture, 103: 387-402.
- Simon, J.E., Bubenheim, R.D., Joly, R.J. and Chrles, D.J., 1992. Water stress induced alternations in essential oil content and composition of sweet basil. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 4: 71-75.
- Simon, J.E. and Quinn, J., 1988. Characterization of essential oil of parsley. Journal Agriculture Food Chemistry, 36: 467-472.
- Singh, M. and Ramesh, S., 2000. Effect of irrigation and nitrogen on herbage, oil yield and water-use efficiency in rosemary grown under semi-arid tropical conditions. Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences, 22 (1B): 659-662.
- Viera, H.J., Bergamaschi, H., Angelocci, L.R. and Libardi, P.L., 1991. Performance of two bean cultivars under two water availability regimes. II. Stomatal resistance to vapour diffusion, transpiration flux density and water potential in the plant (in Portugal). Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira, 9: 1035-1040.
- Zehtab-Salmasi, S., Javanshir, A., Omidbaigi, R., Aly-Ari, H. and Ghassemi- Golezani, K., 2001. Effects of water supply and sowing date on performance and essential oil production of anise (Pimpinella anisum L.). Acta Agronomy Hungarica, 49(1): 75-81.