Relationships of irrigation water and soil physical and chemical characteristics with yield, chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of Damask rose essential oil
PLoS One. 2021 Apr 16;16(4):e0249363. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0249363. eCollection 2021.
Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) is an aromatic medicinal plant rich in bioactive compounds with high value in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Knowledge of the factors affecting the quantitative and qualitative properties of the compounds in its essential oil (EO) and the bioactivity of this EO is important in optimizing Damask rose cultivation and production. This research studied, for the first time, the effects of irrigation water and soil chemical and physical characteristics on the EO yield of this important commercial species and on it chemical composition and antimicrobial activity. The results showed the significant effect of crop cultivation site on yield, chemical composition and inhibition zone diameter (IZD) at the 1% significance level. The highest EO yield (~0.0266%), which belonged to the Noushabad site (EON), resulted from the increased soil electrical conductivity (EC) and the higher sand, gypsum and lime contents and irrigation water salinity. Analysis of the chemical composition of the EOs showed that their main compounds at all three crop sites were citronellol, nonadecane, heneicosane and geraniol. The EO obtained from the Yazdel site (EOY) had the highest contents of citronellol and geraniol (~29.05% and ~6.85%) that were directly correlated with soil potassium and phosphorus contents and inversely correlated with soil acidity and EC and its lime, nitrogen, and organic carbon contents. Antimicrobial assays indicated that the EO extracted from the Sefidshahr site (EOS), which had the largest inhibition zone diameter (~14.67 mm) for Aspergillus brasiliensis (IZD~14.67 mm) and the lowest MIC (~31.25 μg/mL) for Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, exhibited efficacy similar to that of rifampin, probably due to the dominance of the alkanes in it. The EOY and EOS also exhibited the strongest inhibitory and lethal activity against Candida albicans (MIC and MBC <15.63 μg/mL for EOY and MIC and MBC = 62.5 μg/mL for EOS), which were six and four times stronger than those of nystatin, respectively. Therefore, the selected EOs can act as a potentially promising strategy for fighting microbial strains.