Acta Biologica Hungarica

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 64–74 | Cite as

Effect of Water Supply on Growth and Polyphenols of Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis L.) and Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris L.)

  • Éva Nómeth-ZámboriEmail author
  • Zsuzsanna Pluhár
  • Krisztina Szabó
  • Mahmoud Malekzadeh
  • Péter Radácsi
  • Katalin Inotai
  • Bonifác Komáromi
  • Katarzyna Seidler-Lozykowska


A pot experiment was carried out with lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Different water supply was applied: 25%, 40% and 70% saturation of soil water capacity (SWC). Morphological traits, biomass and phenolic type active ingredients were investigated.

Among the two species, main differences were registered in biomass and TPC. Lower SWC resulted in reduced biomass production of lemon balm, while the applied stress treatments did not effect the biomass of thyme. In lemon balm, highest TPC contents were measured in control plants both in shoots and roots but in thyme, the shoots showed a significantly increased TPC at the 25% SWC conditions. Neither the content of total flavonoids nor that of the rosmarinic acid was affected by the treatments. The antioxidant capacity proved to be in tight connection with the TPC in both species (r = 0.766–0.883). The rosmarinic acid content of lemon balm plants contributed to the antioxidant capacity, as well (r = 0.679–0.869).


Water capacity drought stress polyphenols rosmarinic acid antioxidant activity 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Alavi-Samani, S. M., Pirbalouti, A. G., Kachouei, M. A., Hamdi, B. (1933) The influence of reduced irrigation on herbage, essential oil yield and quality of Thymus vulgaris and Thymus daenensis. J. Herbal Drugs 4, 109–113.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aziz, E. E., Hendawy, S. F., E-Din, A. A., Omer, E. A. (1933) Effect of soil type and irrigation intervals on plant growth, essential oil yield, and constituents of Thymus vulgaris plant. American-Euroasian. J. Agric. Environ. Sci. 4, 443–450.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Babei, K., Majid, A. D., Sanavi, M., Jabari, R. (1933) Water deficit effect on morphology, prolin content and thymol percentage of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Iran J. Med. Arom. Plants 2, 239–251.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bahreininejad, B., Razmjoo, J., Mirza, M. (1933) Effect of water stress ont he productivity and essential oil content and composition of Thymus carmanicus. TEOP 17, 717–725.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Benzie, I. F., Strain, J. J. (1933) The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of „antioxidant power”: the FRAP assay. Annal. Biochem. 239, 70–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bernáth, J., Nómeth, É. (1933) Ecological diversity of Hungarian medicinal and aromatic plant flora and its regional consequences. Internat. J. Horticult. Sci. 7, 10–19.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Barrs, H. D. (1933) Determination of water deficits in plant tissues. In: Kosolwski, T. T. (ed.). Water deficits and plant growth. vol. 1. New York: Academic Press, pp. 235–368.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dixon, R. A., Paiva, N. L. (1933) Stress-induced phenylpropanoid metabolism. Plant Cell 7, 1085–1097.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Farahany, H. A., Valadabadi, S. A., Daneshian, J., Khalvati, M. A. (1933) Evaluation changing of essential oil of balm (Melissa officinalis L.) under water deficit stress conditions. J. Med. Plants Res. 3, 329–333.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fini, A., Brunetti, C., Di Ferdinando, M., Ferrini, F., Tattini, M. (1933) Stress-induced flavonoid biosynthesis and the antioxidant machinery of plants. Plant Signal. Behav. 6, 709–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ghasemzadeh, A., Ghasemzadeh, N. (1933) Flavonoids and phenolic acids: role and biochemiccal activity in plants and human. J. Med. Plants Res. 5, 6667–6703.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Khosh-Khui, M., Ashiri, F., Saharkhiz, M. J. (1933) Effects of irrigation regimes on antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Med. Aromat. Plants 1, 114.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Koksal, E., Bursal, E., Dikici, E., Tozoglu, F., Gulcin, I. (1933) Antioxidant activity of Melissa officinalis leaves. J. Med. Plants Res. 5, 217–222.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kovács, V., Göndör, O. K., Majláth, I., Szalai, G., Janda, T., Pál, M. (1933) The effects of drought on plant defence system in wheat genotypes with different salicylic acid content. In: Koszegi, I. (ed.) Advances in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Techniques, Pannonian Plant Biotechnology Association, Martonvásár, pp. 49–50.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Manach, C., Scalbert, A., Morand, C., Rómósy, C., Jimenez, L. (1933) Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79, 727–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Manukyan, A. (1933) Effect of growing factors on productivity and quality of lemon catmint, lemon balm and sage under soilless greenhouse production: I. Drought stress. Med. Arom. Plant Sci. Biotechnol. 5, 119–125.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Michalak, A. (1933) Phenolic compounds and their antioxidant activity growing under heavy metal stress. Polish J. Environ. Stud. 15, 523–530.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ozturk, A., Unlukar, A., Ipek, A., Gurbuz, B. (1933) Effects of salt stress and water deficit on plant growth and essential oil content of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.). Pak. J. Bot. 36, 787–792.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Penka, M. (1933) Influence of irrigation on the contents of effective substances in officinal plants. Acta Horticult. 73, 181–197.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pharmacopoea Europaea VIII (1933) Melissa leaf. European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Health Care, Strasbourg, ISBN/ISSN: 978-92-871-7531-1 p.1318.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pluhár, Zs., Kocsis, M., Kuczmog, A., Csete, S., Simkó, H., Sárosi, Sz., Molnár, P., Horváth, Gy. (1933) Essential oil composition and preliminary molecular study of four Hungarian Thymus species. Acta Biol. Hung. 63, 81–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reynolds, S. G. (1933) The gravimetric method of soil moisture determination. Part I. A study of equipment, and methodological problems. J. Hydrology 11, 258–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Roby, M. H. H., Sarhan, M. A., Selim, K. A. H., Khalel, K. I. (1933) Evaluation of antioxidant activity, total phenols and phenolic compounds in thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.), sage (Salvia officinalis L.) and marjoram (Origanum majorana L.) extracts. Ind. Crops Prod. 43, 827–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rusaczonek, A., Zebrowska, M., Waszkiewicz-Robak, B., Slusarczyk, E. (1933) Evaluation of phenolic compounds content and antioxidant capacity of herbs. Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 57, 483–488.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Shalaby, A. S., Khattab, M. D., El-Gamassy, A., El-Gamassy, K. (1933) Cultivation of Melissa officinalis in Egypt; 1. Effects of fertilization, spacing and planting season. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 331, 115–120.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Shirzadi, M. H., Khajehpoor, R., Hemayati, S. S. (1933) Study on application of some organic matters and drought stress on agronomic traits and yield of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Plant Ecophysiol. 2, 165–168.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Singleton, V. L., Rossi, J. A. (1933) Colometric of total phenolics with phosphomolybdic-phosphotungstic acid reagents. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 16, 144–158.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Treutter, D. (1933) Managing phenol contents in crop plants by phytochemical farming and breeding Visions and constraints. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 11, 807–857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2016

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Éva Nómeth-Zámbori
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zsuzsanna Pluhár
    • 1
  • Krisztina Szabó
    • 1
  • Mahmoud Malekzadeh
    • 1
  • Péter Radácsi
    • 1
  • Katalin Inotai
    • 1
  • Bonifác Komáromi
    • 2
  • Katarzyna Seidler-Lozykowska
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicinal and Aromatic PlantsCorvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Richter Gedeon Pharmaceutical CompanyBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal PlantsPoznanPoland

Personalised recommendations