Use of metabolomics to study water deficit stress on the medicinal plant thyme

Moradi, Parviz (2014). Use of metabolomics to study water deficit stress on the medicinal plant thyme. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Thyme is one of the best known genera because of its diverse medicinal and culinary uses. To understand plant response to drought, a range of genotypes of thyme was examined including Thymus vulgaris, T. serpyllum, T. daenensis, T. kotchyanous, T. capitata and T. zygis. Drought stress was imposed on 30 day old plants and some morpho-physiological traits were measured. Together these traits indicated that T. serpyllum was the most tolerant and T. vulgaris the most susceptible populations. Metabolite profiling using direct-infusion FT-ICR mass spectrometry identified differences in both polar and non-polar fractions. These results suggested that mechanisms adapting thyme to drought may include osmotic adjustment, ROS scavenging, cellular components protection, membrane lipid changes and hormone activity in which the key metabolites were proline, betaine, mannitol, sorbitol, ascorbate, JA, SA, ABA precursor, unsaturated fatty acids and tocopherol. Profiling of volatiles using GC/MS, showed an increasing-decreasing trend at major terpenes apart from thymol, alpha-cubebene and germacrene in sensitive plants. These results suggests that tolerant and susceptible populations of thyme employing different strategies in response to drought. In conclusion, the combination of metabolite profiling and physiological parameters contributed to a greater understanding of the mechanisms of thyme plant response at metabolomics level.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Biosciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology


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