Effect of Water Supply on Growth and Polyphenols of Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis L.) and Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris L.)
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).
KeywordsWater capacity drought stress polyphenols rosmarinic acid antioxidant activity
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