CHEMICAL POLYMORPHISM OF SATUREJA HORTENSIS L. ESSENTIAL OILS DURING DIFFERENT PHENOLOGICAL STAGES AND VEGETATION CYCLES
Chemical polymorphism is common in the Lamiaceae family, where one or more compounds differ quantitatively
within the phenological phases, thus modifying the chemotype according to the major component determined in the
essential oil. Thymol and carvacrol are the most common chemotypes present in thyme plants, they have the same
molecular weight (M = 150 g.mol-1), but with a different position of the OH group on the phenolic ring (meta and ortho).
Usually, thymol and carvacrol are accompanied by two precursors: p-cymene and γ-terpinene. Depending on the end
purpose of the essential oil and the desired chemical composition, there is a need for specific analysis of the chemical
variations according to the phenological stages. For this purpose, essential oils were obtained and analyzed by GC-MS,
in two phenological phases, before and after flowering over two years, and their chemical composition was compared.
The main chemical compounds of the four essential oils analyzed were: γ-terpinene, carvacrol, p-cymene, ⍺ -
terpinolene, β-pinene, etc.. The chemical composition and chemotype of the essential oils, can vary and depends on many
factors like variety, cultivation area and the phenological phase when harvesting is taking place.
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