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Study the influence of thyme (Thymus vulgaris) extract on fungal infection control of some crop seeds during germination stage.


Thymus vulgaris is a member of the family of Lamiaceae which are strongly aromatic and consist of approximately 38 species that are distributed in subtropical countries. Main components of T. Vulgaris is the phenols, thymol (40%) and carvacrol (15%) [7]. In traditional medicine this herb is used in the treatment of many diseases [6]. Some of these illnesses include colds, bronchitis, digestive disorders, boost the immune system, etc. This herb has been anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-virus properties [8,5]. Hence, the Thyme is widely used in the treatment of diseases caused by these pathogens. The most important application of Thyme as an anti-fungal treats fungus infections of the skin [4]. Due to the anti-fungal potential of this plant extracts to seem to be used in agriculture as a fungicide. It can be associated with favorable environmental consequences [3] Limiting toxicity, the ability to rapidly decompose after use, safe for living organisms, especially beneficial insects are some ecological advantages of using herb extracts such as the Thyme as a fungicide [1]. Nowadays, with approaching to sustainable and organic agriculture used of natural and safe pesticides is very important. In this regards, various aromatic and medicinal plants can be used. Economic and ecological cost of production of these plants is low. Thus, the pesticide produced by this way is cheaper than chemical pesticides [2]. It is therefore, farmers particularly impoverished farmers great interest to use these pesticides. One of the problems in this regards is few studies on the vegetative pesticides and fungicides. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antifungal effects of the Thyme aqueous extract on control of fungus contamination of some crop seeds during germination and establishment stages.

Material and Methods

This study was carried out in the Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of agriculture, Urmia University during 2012. Plant material was harvested from the Sir Mountain in Urmia, West Azarbaijan of Iran on 12 May 2012.

Thyme shoot after harvesting was transferred to the laboratory and dried under shade. Dried plants were crushed and powdered using a blender. 25 g of this powder was poured into 100 ml distilled water and were on the shaker for 24 h under laboratory conditions. The obtained extract was centrifuged for 10 min at 3000 rpm. The experimental treatments were 0 (control), 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 % of this extract. These treatments were obtained with diluting primary extract with distilled water.

Germination test was done on five crops: wheat, maize, soybean and cumin separately. Three replications were used in each treatment. Once every two days in studying treatments during watering of seeds with distilled water 1 ml of extract were added to Petri dishes (except control). All seeds before the germination test were surface sterilized with sodium hypochlorite for 10 min. 10 days after the beginning of the germination test in all treatments fungus contamination was investigated. The results were statistically analyzed. Excel software was used to draw graphs.

Results and Discussion

The results of this study showed that Thyme extract can be effective in reducing fungal contamination of seeds during germination. However, this effect was different in various concentrations. In addition, high concentrations of Thyme extract were affected germination adversely ( Fig 1-5). The results of each crop were as follows.


Fungal infection of wheat seed at 30 , 40 and 50 % of Thyme extract significantly reduced. Also reduction of fungal infection was occurred in treating seed medium with 10 and 20% of Thyme extracts. However this was not significantly different with control. According to the results 30 and 40 % solutions of Thyme extract the best concentrations for the control of fungus contamination of wheat seeds during germination and seedling growth. Treated petri dishes with a 50% solution of Thyme extract reduced fungal infection but this reduction associated with decreased of final germination percentage (Fig 1).


The experimental results showed that with increasing concentration of Thyme extract from 10 to 50 % fungal infection of maize seeds during germination declined. The fungal infection percentage of 10, 20, 302, 40 and 50 % of the extract was 9, 8, 7.33, 7 and 6 respectively. Thyme extract in high concentrations was lead to reduced final germination percentage. The final germination percentage at various concentrations was 92.66, 91.33, 90.33, 85.66 and 80.14 respectively.


The results indicated that Thyme extract significantly reduced the fungal infection of soybean seeds during germination. The final germination percentage and fungal infection percentage in control of soybean seeds were 92% and 8.5%. In the experimental treatment fungal infection was 7.66, 7, 4.2, 4 and 1.66 respectively. The final germination percentage in these treatments respectively were 92, 93, 91.66, 88.33 and 84.5 (Fig).


The results of cumin seeds were similar to other studied seeds. In the cumin with increasing of extract concentration fungal infection significantly reduced. However, germination percentage was reduced at higher than 30% percentage concentration of extract (Fig).


The results clearly showed that Thyme extract is a powerful anti-fungal. In this regards, concentration of extract is very important. So that at high concentration of extracts of this medicinal plant may have adverse effects and biological inhibitors.


[1.] Branauskiene, R., P.R. venskutonis, P. Viskelis and E. Darbrauskiene, 2003. Influence of nitrogen filtilizers on the yield and composition of thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 51: 7751-7758.

[2.] Hudaib, M., E. Speroni, A.M. Di Pietra and V. Cavrini, 2002. GC/MS evaluation of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) oil composition and variations during the vegetative cycle. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 29: 691-700.

[3.] Imelouane, B., H. Amhamdi, J.P. Wathelet, M. Ankit, K. Khedid and A. Elbaachiri, 2009. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oil of Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) from eastern morocco. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology.

[4.] Nabigol, A and H. Morshedi, 2011. Evaluation of the antifungal activity of the Iranian thyme essential oils on the postharvest pathogens of strawberry fruits. Aferican Journal of Biotechnology, 10(48): 9864-9869.

[5.] Pourbaig, M., R. Omidbaigi, M. Farshbaf and A. Ghaemi, 2004. Invitro antifungal effect and chemical composition of thyme (Thymus vulgais) essential oil on some fungi. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 3(2): 69-70.

[6.] Rehman, A., A. Mannan, S. Inayatullah, M. Zaeem, M. Qayyum and B. Mirza, 2009. Biological evaluation of wild thyme (Thymus serpullum). Pharmaceutical Biology, 47(7): 628-633.

[7.] Saqvic, K.M., L. Kosalec, J. Mastelic, E. Pieckova and S. Ppelinak, 2007. Antifungal activity of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) essential oil and thymol against moulds from damp dwellings. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 44(1): 36-42.

[8.] Zwmity, S. and M. Ahmed, 2005. Antifungal activity of some essential oils and their major chemical constituents against some phytopatogentic fungi. Journal of Pest Control and Environmental Sciences, 13(1): 61-72.

Orouj Valizadegan

Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University, West Azerbaijan, Urmia, Iran.

Corresponding Author

Orouj Valizadegan, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University, West Azerbaijan, Urmia, Iran.

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Author:Valizadegan, Orouj
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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