Foliar application of yeast extract and salicylic acid affect chemical composition and content of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) essential oil

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Plant Production and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran


The present study investigated the effect of 14 treatments consisting yeast extract (YE) (0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2 g/l), salicylic acid (SA) (0, 40, 80, 160, 320 mg/l) and YE (1 and 1.5 g/l) in combination with SA (80 and 160 mg/l) foliar application on essential oil content and constituents of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.). The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with three replications under greenhouse conditions. Essential oils analyzed by GC/MS and a total of 39 compounds were identified that the major constituents were citronellol, trans-carveol, γ-3-carene, linalool, citral and carvacrol acetate, respectively (42.8 to 48.0% in total). Citronellol was the main constituent of essential oils with 11.05%. SA and YE significantly altered the amount of 23 constituents of lemon balm essential oil (P˂0.01). The highest citronellol, linalool and citral (14.50, 7.9 and 8%, respectively) production was obtained at 1.5 g/l YE+160 mg/l SA treated plants that was 103, 88 and 203% higher than control plants, respectively. The highest essential oil content (0.336% v/w) that was 49% higher than control was achieved by 1.0 and 1.5g/l YE+160 mg/l SA treatments. The principal component analysis (PCA) and heatmap indicated that the content of compounds varied with different treatment and also revealed a clear separation between control and treatment groups. The results suggested that SA, YE and SA in combination with YE has considerable ability to stimulate the production of major constituent such as citronellol, citral, and linalool in the lemon balm.


Main Subjects

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