Investigation of organic and biofertilizer sources and harvesting time on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of Salvia officinalis L.

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Plant Production and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Maragheh, Iran.


In the conventional agricultural systems, the excessive use of chemical inputs, such as chemical fertilizers, increased the agricultural productivity. Detrimental implications from intensive agricultural practices and long-term use of chemical fertilizers have been well evidenced on the environment and human health. Intercropping system and application of organic fertilizers and biofertilizers including vermicompost and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are recommended in the development of sustainable agricultural systems. The objectives were evaluating the effect of different fertilizer sources on the quantity and quality characteristics of Salvia officinalis L.

Materials and methods

The experiment consisted of two successive phases at the Miandoab, Iran in 2019-2020. The first was cultivation of spring green manure until the soft dough stage of barley and flowering stage of hairy vetch then returned to the soil, and the second phase was cultivation of medicinal plant of sage. Two species, barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa), were used as green manure. In second phase, a field experiment study was carried out as split plot in time based on a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with 16 treatments and three replications. The main plot factor was eight different fertilizer sources including control (C), barley monoculture (B), hairy vetch monoculture (V), 75% V + 25% B, 50% V + 50% B and 25% V + 75% B, AMF: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (Rhizophagus intraradices) and vermicompost. Also the sub plot factor was harvesting time (first and second harvest). In AM fungi treatments, 80 g of the soil containing mycorrhizal fungi hyphae and the remains of the root and spores was added to soil in planting times. Also, vermicompost (2 t ha-1) was applied to the soil before planting. Analysis of variance of the data and mean comparison based on least significant difference (LSD) test and interaction effect slicing of different fertilizer sources × harvesting time were carried out by using of SAS 9.3 statistical software.

Results and Discussion

The plant height, number of lateral branches, number of leaves, chlorophyll index, leaf dry weight, stem dry weight, essential oil percentage and yield was significantly affected by interaction of diffirent fertilizer sources×harvesting time. The highest of dry matter yield was achieved under AMF followed by 50% V+ 50% B. Also the highest of chlorophyll index and essential oil percentage of sage was obtained in 50% V + 50% B and first harvest. Also, the first harvesting time increased by 33.9, 10.7 and 40.7% this trait in comparison with second harvest. In addition, the maximum of essential oil yield was observed in AMF followed by 50% V+ 50% B in first harvest. Chemical analysis of the essential oil of sage demonstrated that in all treatements, cis-Thujone, 1, 8-cineole and camphor were the main dominant components. The maximum of cis-Thujone, 1, 8-cineole content was achieved in 50% V+ 50% B and second harvest. Also, the highest of camphor observed in 25% V+ 75% B treatment and first harvest. The roots of green manure plants can uptake nutrients from the lower layers of soil and transfer them to the aerial parts of plant. By incorporating green manure, the sage growth characteristics improved as a result of increasing soil microbiological processes and releasing of nutrients. Also, mycorrhizal fungus inoculation enhanced plant performance by increasing root surface area, turgor pressure adjustment, gradual availability to nutrients and water. Since essential oils are terpenoid components so that for the biosynthesis of precursor compounds (isoprenoids) such as isopentenyl pyrophosphate and dimethylallyl pyrophosphate necessary Acetyl-CoA, NADPH and ATP and mineral nutrients like N and P. Treating plots with 50% V + 50% B and AMF increase the essential oil percentage and compounds through releasing of nitrogen and phosphorus into the soil. Also, the higher morphological traits, essential oil percentage and yield in the first harvest than the second harvest can be attributed to longer growing period and optimal growth conditions (day length, sunlight, ambient temperature).

Treating plots with green manure and AMF improve the morphological traits, quantity and quality of sage essential oil through adjustment the soil chemical properties. According to the quantity and quality indicators, application of 50% V+ 50% B as green manure and AMF can be suggested as an efficient and eco-friendly agricultural strategy in sage cultivation.


Main Subjects

  1. Adams, R.P. (2007). Identification of Essential Oil Components by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. Allured Publishing Corporation: Carol Stream, IL, USA. 804 pp.
  2. Adekiya, A.O., Agbede, T.M., Aboyeji, C.M., Dunsin, O., & Ugbe, J.O. (2019). Green manures and NPK fertilizer effects on soil properties, growth, yield, mineral and vitamin C composition of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench). Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences18(2), 218-223.
  3. Aflatuni, A., Sari, E.K.J.U., & Hohtola, A. (2006). Optimum harvesting time of four Mentha species in Northern Finland. Journal of Essential Oil Research18(2), 134-138.
  4. Amede, T., Legesse, G., Agegnehu, G., Gashaw, T., Degefu, T., Desta, G., Mekonnen, K., Schulz, S., & Thorne, P. (2021). Short term fallow and partitioning effects of green manures on wheat systems in East African highlands. Field Crops Research269, 1-16.
  5. Amani Machiani, M., Javanmard, A., Morshedloo, M.R., & Maggi, F. (2018). Evaluation of competition, essential oil quality and quantity of peppermint intercropped with soybean. Industrial Crops and Products111, 743-754.
  6. Amiri, M.B., Rezvani Moghaddam, P., Jahan, M., Salehabadi, M., & Naseri, N. (2017). Effects of plant density and different organic and chemical fertilizers on some phytochemical characteristics of Iranian ox-tongue (Echium amoenum & Mey.). Iranian Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, 33(4), 649-662. (In Persian with English Summary)
  7. Bidgoli, R.D., & Mahdavi, M.J. (2018). Effect of nitrogen and two types of green manure on the changes in percentage and yield of peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil. Notulae Scientia Biologicae10(2), 245-250.
  8. Bigonah, R., Rezvani Moghaddam, P., & Jahan, M. (2014). Effects of different fertilizer managements on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of coriander (Coriandrum sativum) as a medicinal plant. Iranian Journal of Field Crops Research12(4), 574-581. (In Persian with English Summary).
  9. Bilalis, D., Karkanis, A., Efthimiadou, A., Konstantas, A., & Triantafyllidis, V. (2009). Effects of irrigation system and green manure on yield and nicotine content of Virginia (flue-cured) Organic tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum), under Mediterranean conditions. Industrial Crops and Products29(2-3), 388-394.
  10. Bijhani, M., Yadollahi, P., Asgharipour, M.R., & Heydari, M. (2015). The effect of mycorrhizal inoculation of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum ) on its yield and some physiological characteristics under drought conditions. Journal of Crop Ecophysiology, 9(3), 337-352. (In Persian with English Summary).
  11. Copetta, A., Lingua, G., & Berta, G. (2006). Effects of three AM fungi on growth, distribution of glandular hairs and essential oil production in Ocimum basilicum var. Genovese. Mycorrhiza, 16, 485–494.
  12. El-Haddad, M.H., Zayed, M.S., El-Sayed, G.A.M., & Abd El-Satar, A.M. (2020). Efficiency of compost and vermicompost in supporting the growth and chemical constituents of Salvia officinalis cultivated in sand soil. International Journal of Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture, 9, 49-59.
  13. Fadaee, E., Parvizi, Y., Gerdakane, M., & Khan-Ahmadi, M. (2018). The effects of mycorhiza (Glomus mosseae and Glomus intraradiceae) and phosphorus on growth and phytochemical traits of Dracocephalum moldavica under drought stress. Journal of Medicinal Plants, 2(66), 100-112. (In Persian with English Summary).
  14. Gao, S., Zhou, G., Rees, R.M., & Cao, W. (2020). Green manuring inhibits nitrification in a typical paddy soil by changing the contributions of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria. Applied Soil Ecology, 156, 1-11.
  15. Gashgari, R., Selim, S., Abdel-Mawgoud, M., Warrad, M., Habeeb, T.H., Saleh, A.M., & AbdElgawad, H. (2020). Arbuscular mycorrhizae induce a global metabolic change and improve the nutritional and health benefits of pennyroyal and parsley. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 42, 1–11.
  16. Ghalavand, A., Mohammadi, K., Agha Alikhani, M., & Sohrabi, Y. (2009). Effect of organic, biological and chemical fertilizers on chickpea grain yield and quality. Journal of Water and Soil Sciences, 19(2), 213-234. (In Persian with English Summary).
  17. Gheidarlouei, S., Khademian, R., & Mafakheri, S. (2020). Response of Anethum graveolens to mycorrhiza symbiosis at different salinity levels. Iranian Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, 36(2), 329-347. (In Persian with English Summary).
  18. Govahi, M., Ghalavand, A., Nadjaf, F., & Sorooshzadeh, A. (2017). Comparing different soil fertility systems on some physiological characteristics, yield and essential oil of sage (Salvia officinalis ) under different irrigation regimes. Journal of Agroecology, 9(2), 445-457. (In Persian with English Summary).
  19. Gupta, M.L., Prasad, A., Ram, M., & Kumar, S. (2004). Effect of the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungus glomus fasciculatum on the essential oil yield-related characters and nutrient acquisition in the crops of different cultivars of menthol mint (Mentha arvensis) under field conditions. Bioresource Technolohy, 81, 77–79.
  20. Hassiotis, C.N., Ntana, F., Lazari, D.M., Poulios, S., & Vlachonasios, K.E. (2014). Environmental and developmental factors affect essential oil production and quality of Lavandula angustifolia during flowering period. Industrial Crops and Products, 62, 359-366.
  21. Jalilian, S., Mondani, F., Fatemi, G.A., & Bagheri, A. (2021). Effect of farmyard manure and green manure application on yield and yield components of sesame (Sesamum indicum) under organic conditions. Applied Research in Field Crops, 33(4), 62-86. (In Persian with English Summary).
  22. Khalvandia, M., Ameriana, M.R., Pirdashtib, H., Keramatib, S., & Hosseinic, J. (2019). Essential oil of peppermint in symbiotic relationship with Piriformospora indica and methyl jasmonate application under saline condition. Industrial Crops and Products, 127, 195-202.
  23. Kapoor, R., Chaudhary, V., & Bhatnagar, A.K. (2007). Effects of arbuscular mycorrhiza and phosphorus application on artemisinin concentration in Artemisia annua Mycorrhiza, 17, 581–587.
  24. Kapoor, R., Anand, G., Gupta, P., & Mandal, S. (2017). Insight into the mechanisms of enhanced production of valuable terpenoids by arbuscular mycorrhiza. Phytochemistry Reviews, 16(4), 677-692.
  25. Ludwig-Müller, J. (2010). Hormonal responses in host plants triggered by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. In H. Koltai, & Y. Kapulnik (Eds.). Arbuscular Mycorrhizas: Physiology and Function. Springer, Dordrecht, p. 169–190.
  26. Meena, B.L., Fagodiya, R.K., Prajapat, K., Dotaniya, M.L., Kaledhonkar, M.J., Sharma, P.C., Meena, R.S., Mitran, T., & Kumar, S. (2018). Legume green manuring: An option for soil sustainability. InS. Meena, A. Das, G. S. Yadav, & R. Lal (Eds.). Legumes for Soil Health and Sustainable Management. Springer., Singapore, p. 387-408.
  27. Modafe Behzadi, N., Moghaddam, P.R., & Jahan, M. (2019). Effects of planting date and plant density on morphology and yield of indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) as a medicinal plant. Journal of Agroecology,10(4), 1067-1079. (In Persian with English Summary).
  28. Morshedloo, M.R., Craker, L.E., Salami, A., Nazeri, V., Sang, H., & Maggi, F. (2017). Effect of prolonged water stress on essential oil content, compositions and gene expression patterns of mono-and sesquiterpene synthesis in two oregano (Origanum vulgare) subspecies. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry111, 119-128.
  29. Morshedloo, M.R., Maggi, F., Neko, H.T., & Aghdam, M.S. (2018). Sumac (Rhus coriaria ) fruit: Essential oil variability in Iranian populations. Industrial Crops and Products, 111, 1-7.
  30. Mucciarelli, M., Scannerini, S., Bertea, C., & Maffei, M. (2003). In vitro and in vivo peppermint (Mentha piperita) growth promotion by nonmycorrhizal fungal colonization. New Phytologist, 158, 591–597.
  31. Omidbaigi, R. (2011). Production and Processing of Medicinal Plants (Vol.2). Razavi Ghods Astan Publication, Mashhad, Iran. 438 pp. (In Persian).
  32. Omidbaigi, R. (2013). Production and Processing of Medicinal Plants (Vol.1). Razavi Ghods Astan Publication, Mashhad, Iran. 347 (In Persian).
  33. Ormeno, E., & Fernandez, C. (2012). Effect of soil nutrient on production and diversity of volatile terpenoids from plants. Current Bioactive Compounds, 8(1), 71-79.
  34. Ostadi, A., Javanmard, A., Machiani, M.A., Morshedloo, M.R., Nouraein, M., Rasouli, F., & Maggi, F. (2020). Effect of different fertilizer sources and harvesting time on the growth characteristics, nutrient uptakes, essential oil productivity and composition of Mentha x piperitaIndustrial Crops and Products148, 1-12.
  35. Piccaglia, R., Marotti, M., & Dellacecca, V. (1997). Effect of planting density and harvest date on yield and chemical composition of sage oil. Journal of Essential Oil Research9(2), 187-191.
  36. Pinzon-Torres, J.A., Contreras Porras, N.J., Durán García, D.C., & Elena Stashenko, J.R.M.M.Y. (2014). Green biomass production and quality of essential oils of palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini ) with application of synthesis fertilizers and organic fertilizers. Acta Agronómica, 63(4), 335-342.
  37. Prabha, M.L., Jayraay, I.A., Jayraay, R., & Rao, D.S. (2007). Effect of vermicompost on growth parameters of selected vegetable and medicinal plants. Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences, 9(2), 321-326.
  38. Rahmani, N., Valadabadi, S.A., Daneshian, J., & Bigdeli, M. (2008). The effects of water deficit stress and nitrogen on oil yield of Calendula officinalis Iranian Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research, 24(1), 103-108. (In Persian with English Summary)
  39. Ratti, N., Kumar, S., Verma, H.N., & Gautam, S.P. (2001). Improvement in bioavailability of tricalcium phosphate to Cymbopogon martinii Motia by rhizobacteria, AMF and azospirillum inoculation. Microbiology Research, 156, 145-149.
  40. Santos Marquesa, C.T.D., Silva Gamaa, E.V., Silva, F.D., Teles, S., Caiafa, A.N., & Lucchese, A.M. (2018). Improvement of biomass and essential oil production of Lippia alba (Mill) n.e. Brown with green manures in succession. Industrial Crops and Products, 112, 113-118.
  41. Selvaraj, T., Mathan, C., & Rajeshkumar, N.C. (2009). Effect of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on some growth parameters and phytochemical constituents of Pogostemon patchouli Maejo International Journal Science Technology, 3(10), 222-234.
  42. Sharifi-Rad, J., Sureda, A., Tenore, G.C., Daglia, M., Sharifi-Rad, M., Valussi, M., Tundis, R., Sharifi-Rad, M., Loizzo, M.R., Ademiluyi, A.O., Sharifi-Rad, R., Ayatollahi, S.A., & Iriti, M. (2017). Biological activities of essential oils: From plant chemoecology to traditional healing systems. Molecules, 70(22), 2-55.
  43. Silva, G.T.A., Oliveira, W.R.D., Matos, L.V., Nóbrega, P.O., Krainovic, P.M., Campello, E.F.C., Franco, A.A., & Resende, A.S. (2007). Correlation between chemical composition and decomposition rate of green manure plants aiming the elaboration of a database. Embrapa Agrobiologia-Boletim de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, 21, 1-28.
  44. Singh, M., Singh, A., Singh, S., Tripathi, R.S., Singh, A.K., & Patra, D.D. (2010). Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata Walp.) as a green manure to improve the productivity of a menthol mint (Mentha arvensis L.) intercropping system. Industrial Crops and Products, 31, 289-293.
  45. Soltani, A. (2015). Application of SAS in Statistical Analysis. Jahade Daneshghahi Mashhad Press. Mashhad, Iran. 182 pp. (In Persian).
  46. Solangi, F., Bai, J., Gao, S., Yang, L., Zhou, G., & Cao, W. (2019). Improved accumulation capabilities of phosphorus and potassium in green manures and its relationship with soil properties and enzymatic activities. Agronomy9(11), 1-16.
  47. Supratim, B., Roel, C.R., & Sangeeta, N. (2018). AMF: The future prospect for sustainable agriculture. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, 102, 36-45.
  48. Tarraf, W., Ruta, C., Tagarelli, A., De Cillis, F., & De Mastro, G. (2017). Influence of arbuscular mycorrhizae on plant growth, essential oil production and phosphorus uptake of Salvia officinalisIndustrial Crops and Products102, 144-153.
  49. Thokchom, S.D., Gupta, S., & Kapoor, R. (2020). Arbuscular mycorrhiza augments essential oil composition and antioxidant properties of Ocimum tenuiflorum a popular green tea additive. Industrial Crops and Products, 153, 1-12.
  50. Varma, A., Prasad, R.,  Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany. 533 pp.
  51. Verma, R.S., Padalia, R.C., & Chauhan, A., (2015). Harvesting season and plant part dependent variations in the essential oil composition of Salvia officinalis grown in northern India. Journal of Herbal Medicine, 5(3), 165-171.
  52. Wu, Y.H., Wang, H., Liu, M., Li, B., Chen, X., Ma, Y.T., & Yan, Z.Y. (2021). Effects of native arbuscular mycorrhizae isolated on root biomass and secondary metabolites of Salvia miltiorrhiza Frontiers in Plant Science, 12, 1-13.
  53. Wu, Q.S., Srivastava, A., & Zou, Y.N. (2013). AMF-induced tolerance to drought stress in citrus: A review. Scientia Horticulturae, 164, 77–87.
  54. Zheljazkov, V.D., Cerven, V., Cantrell, C.L., Ebelhar, W.M., & Horgan, T. (2009). Effect of nitrogen, location, and harvesting stage on peppermint productivity, oil content, and oil composition. American Society for Horticultural Science, 44(5), 1267-1270.



Volume 15, Issue 3 - Serial Number 57
September 2023
Pages 481-504
  • Receive Date: 21 September 2021
  • Revise Date: 29 January 2022
  • Accept Date: 02 February 2022
  • First Publish Date: 02 February 2022