Influence of meteorological conditions on essential oil composition in geraniol-bearing Thymus pulegioides and Thymus hybrid

Abstract

Essential oils and geraniol-bearing taxa of genus Thymus have potential significance in pharmaceutical and fragrance industries as sources of lemon flavour and fragrance essential and natural origin biologically active compound geraniol. The aim of this study was to estimate effects of meteorological conditions on yield of essential oil and their main compounds in Thymus pulegioides geraniol chemotype and geraniol-bearing interspecific hybrid Thymus × citriodorus cultured in same locality. Hybrid and two individual plants of T. pulegioides were vegetative propagated and grown in the open ground under the same environmental conditions. The volatile oils were isolated by hydrodistillation annually, analysis of main compounds of essential oils—geraniol, nerol, geranial, and neral—was carried out by GC-FID and GC–MS. Observed positive relationship of essential oil yield with rainfall and negative with temperature, sunshine duration and photosynthetically active solar radiation showed that a cool weather, little sunny and moisture are suitable for accumulation of essential oil and geraniol in hybrid T. × citriodorus. Two clones of T. pulegioides geraniol chemotype accumulated the lowest and the highest amounts of volatile oils not in same years. Regression analysis showed unlike trends of effects of many meteorological conditions on yield of essential oil in T. pulegioides samples. Only rainfall and temperature most similarly influenced essential oil accumulation in both T. pulegioides clones. The percentage of geraniol was affected by meteorological conditions more similarly in both T. pulegioides; only effect of rainfall on percentage of geraniol was unlike in different samples. Results showed that same meteorological conditions can differently influence essential oil accumulation not only in different Thymus taxa containing similar chemical composition of essential oils, but also in representatives of same chemotype of same Thymus taxa.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Open Access to research infrastructure of the Nature Research Centre under Lithuanian open access network initiative. We thank Dr. R. Butkienė for help doing GC/MS analysis of essential oils. The authors also would like to acknowledge the contribution of the COST Action FA1306.

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Correspondence to Kristina Ložienė.

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Ložienė, K., Vaičiulytė, V. & Maždžierienė, R. Influence of meteorological conditions on essential oil composition in geraniol-bearing Thymus pulegioides and Thymus hybrid. Acta Physiol Plant 43, 27 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-021-03201-9

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Keywords

  • Thymus pulegioides
  • Thymus × citriodorus
  • Hydrodistillation
  • Essential oil
  • Geraniol
  • Meteorological conditions