Investigation of chemical diversity of essential oil of natural populations of Zataria multiflora Boiss. in Hormozgan province

Document Type : Full Paper


1 M.Sc. Student , Faculty of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agriculture & Environment, University of Arak, Arak, Iran


Zataria multiflora Boiss. belongs to Lamiaceae family, which grows wildly in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the present study, the aerial parts of this plant were collected at full flowering stage from six habitats in Hormozgan province including Roudkhane, Lavar-shaikh, Faryab, Tang-e-Zagh, Bashagard and Bandar-e-Khamir. After confirmation of scientific names of the species, the plant materials were dried at shade and at room temperature and the essential oils were obtained by hydro-distillation. The essential oils were analyzed by GC and GC/MS techniques. Results showed that maximum and minimum essential oil contents (w/w%) obtained from Roudkhaneh (6.5%) and Bandar-e-khamir (3.9%) ecotypes, respectively. According to essential oil compound analysis, twenty-three components, representing 93.5 – 99.3% of the total components, were identified. Thymol, linalool, carvacrol and p-cymene were the major compounds in the studied ecotypes. Oxygenated monoterpens were the main group of constituents in all samples except Faryab (45.6-75.3%). Cluster analysis of chemical compounds divided the studied ecotypes into three groups. The first group, which was characterized by a high amount of carvacrol, included the ecotypes of Bandar-e-khamir and Bashagard; the second group, which contained a high amount of thymol, included three ecotypes of Tang-e-zagh, Faryab and Roudkhane, and the ecotype of Lavar-shaikh, which formed the third group, had the highest amount of linalool. The results showed that Z. multiflora ecotypes in the habitats of Hormozgan province have a high percentage of essential oil and phytochemical diversity and can be used in breeding programs.


  1. Adams, R.P. (2011). Identification of Essential Oils by Ion Trap Mass Spectroscopy. Academic Press: New York, 809 p.
  2. Azadi, M., Jamali, T., Kianmehr, Z., Kavoosi, G. & Ardestani, S.K. (2020). In-vitro (2D and 3D cultures) and in-vivo cytotoxic properties of Zataria multiflora essential oil (ZEO) emulsion in breast and cervical cancer cells along with the investigation of immunomodulatory potential. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 112865.
  3. Bahraini nejad, B. & Mirza, M. (2019). Effects of ecological factors on essential oil components of several genotypes of Thymus daenensis Celak using ordination technique. Iranian Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research, 2, 196-208. (in Farsi)
  4.  Barghi, M., Ashrafi, M., Aminlari, M., Namazi, F. & Nazifi, S. (2019). The protective effect of Zataria multiflora Boiss. essential oil on CCl4 induced liver fibrosis in rats. Drug and Chemical Toxicology, 1-9.
  5. Baqalian, K., and Naqdi Badi, H. (2000). Essential plants, first edition, Tehran, Andarz Publications. 234 p. (in Farsi).
  6. Bigdeloo, M., Hadian, J. & Nazeri, V. (2017). Composition of essential oil compounds from different populations of Thymus caramanicus Jalas. Journal of Applied Research on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, 7, 95-98.
  7. Cristina Figueiredo, A., Barroso, J.G., Pedro, L.G. & Scheffer, J.J.C. (2008). Factors affecting secondary metabolite production in plants: volatile components and essential oils. Flavor and Fragrance Journal, 23, 213-226.
  8. Dashipour, A., Razavilar, V., Hosseini, H., Shojaee-Aliabadi, S., German, J. B., Ghanati, K., Mansour Khakpour, M. & Khaksar, R. (2015). Antioxidant and antimicrobial carboxymethyl cellulose films containing Zataria multiflora essential oil. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 72, 606-613.
  9. Davies, N.W. (1998). Gas chromatographic retention indices of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes on methyl silicon and Carbowax 20M phases. Journal of Chromatography, 503, 1-24.
  10. Ebrahimi Zabet, S.H., Azizi, A. & Hasani, A. (2013). The effect of altitude on the essential oil content and quality of habitat in Alvandi Thyme (Thymus elwendicus). Eighth Congress of Iranian Horticultural Science, Bu Ali Sina University. pp: 285. 
  11. Ghahreman, A. & Attar, F. (1999). in “Biodiversity of Plant Species in Iran”, Tehran University Publications, Tehran, 515 p. (in Farsi).
  12. Golmakani, M. T. & Rezaei, K. (2008). Microwave-assisted hydrodistillation of essential oil from Zataria multiflora Boiss. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 110, 448-454.
  13. Hadian, J., Ebrahimi, S. N., Mirjalili, M. H., Azizi, A., Ranjbar, H. & Friedt, W. (2011). Chemical and genetic diversity of Zataria multiflora Boiss. accessions growing wild in Iran. Chemistry and Biodiversity, 8(1), 176-188.
  14. Kavoosia, Gh. & Rabieia, F. (2015). Zataria multiflora: chemical and biological diversity in the essential oil. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 27(5), 428-436.
  15. Khoshnazar, R. (2007). Medicinal plants, endangered natural heritage. Tehran Agricultural and Resources Research Center. 325 p. (in Farsi)
  16. Ložienėa, K. & Venskutonis, P.R. (2005). Influence of environmental and genetic factors on the stability of essential oil composition of Thymus pulegioides. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 33(5), 517-525.
  17. Mahmoudvand, H., Mirbadie, S. R., Sadooghian, S., Harandi, M. F., Jahanbakhsh, S. & Saedi Dezaki, E. (2016). Chemical composition and scolicidal activity of Zataria multiflora Boiss. essential oil. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 29(1), 42-47.
  18. Majdi, M., Mashhady, A.M., Maroufi, A. & Crocoll, C. (2017). Tissue-specific geneexpression patterns of genes associated with thymol/carvacrol biosynthesis in thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) and their differential changes upon treatment with abiotic elicitors. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 115, 152-162.
  19. Mojaddar Langroodi, A., Tajik, H. & Mehdizadeh, T. (2019). Antibacterial and antioxidant characteristics of Zataria multiflora Boiss. essential oil and hydroalcoholic extract of Rhus coriaria L. Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control, 6(1), 16-24.
  20. Najafpour Navai, M., Mirza, M. (2014). Investigation of chemical composition of essential oil of flowering branches of Zataria multiflora Boiss. in four different provinces. Ecophytochemistry of Medicinal Plants, 2 (4), 49-43. (in Farsi)
  21. Rechinger, K.H. (1982). Flora Iranica. (Vol. 152). Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, Pp: 427-428.
  22. Roustaei, A., Tabatabai, S.M., Omidbeigi, R., Sefidkan, F. & Hassani, M.A. (2009). Investigation of the essential oil constituents of flowering thyme branches collected from three different regions Hamedan province. Sixth Iranian Congress of Horticultural Sciences. Rasht. 1213 -1214 p. (in Farsi)
  23. Sadeghi, H., Robati, Z. & Saharkhiz, M. (2015). Variability in Zataria multiflora Boiss. essential oil of twelve populations from Fars province, Iran. Industrial Crops and Products, 67, 221-226.
  24. Sajed, H., Sahebkar, A. & Iranshahi, M. (2013). Zataria multiflora Boiss. (Shirazi thyme) -An ancient condiment with modern pharmaceutical uses. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 145, 686-698.
  25. Saharkhiz, M. J., Smaeili, S. & Merikhi, M. (2010). Essential oil analysis and phytotoxic activity of two ecotypes of Zataria multiflora Boiss. growing in Iran. Natural Product Research, 24(17), 1598-1609.
  26. Saei-Dehkordi, S. S., Tajik, H., Moradi, M. & Khalighi-Sigaroodi, F. (2010). Chemical composition of essential oils in Zataria multiflora Boiss. from different parts of Iran and their radical scavenging and antimicrobial activity. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 48(6), 1562-1567.
  27. Saleem, M., Nazli, R., Afza, N., Sami, A. & Shaiq Ali, M. (2004). Biological significance of essential oil of Zataria multiflora Boiss. Natural Product Research, 18(6), 493-497.
  28. Shibamoto, T. (1987). Retention indices in essential oil analysis. In Capillary Gas Chromatography in Essential Oil Analysis, Sandra P, Bichi C (eds). Alfred Heuthig: New York.
  29. Tetenyi, P. (2002). Chemical variation in medicinal and aromatic plants. Acta Horticulturae, 576, 15-21.
  30. Vernet, P., Gouyon, P.H. & Valdeyron, G. (1986). Genetic control of the oil content in Thymus vulgaris L.: a case of polymorphism in a biosynthetic chain. Genetica, 69, 227-231.