influence of light intensity and salinity on growth and antioxidant machinery of Thymus vulgaris L

Zrig, Ahlem ; Tounekti, Taieb ; AbdElgawad, Hamada ; Hamouda, Foued ; Khemira, Habib


Thymus vulgarisL. commonly known as Thyme or Garden Thyme, is important medicinal herb used for their wide-ranging therapeutic properties. Agriculture practices of thyme plants influence their growth and biochemical composition. Here, we have evaluated the effects of two production systems and irrigation with saline water on growth, physiological characteristics and antioxidant capacity of T. vulgaris. Two levels of salinity stress (50 and 150 mM) were applied for 2 and 4 weeks under shade enclosure or open field. The results showed that NaCl-treated plants grown in shade enclosure showed reduced total dry weight and relative water content, photosynthetic characteristics and leaf pigments when compared to full sunny conditions. However, the shade conditions enhanced glucose and fructose accumulation mainly after a short period of NaCl stress application. The reduction of Ca2+ and K+ was lower in NaCl-stressed plants grown under open-field conditions. Besides, under sunny conditions, plants showed significant increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) and H2O2contents. Our results demonstrated that these plantsin open fieldhave higher contents of reduced ascorbate (ASC) and reduced glutathione (GSH) than plants grown in shade enclosure, which could be related to enhanced activity of APX and GR. An increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity was also recorded. Moreover, activities of dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) were mainly dependent on the intensity of NaCl stress.


antioxidant enzymes, ascorbate glutathione, Culinary, Herbal, salinity, Stress, Thyme

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