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The lipid content and fatty acid composition of leaves twigs and roots of thymus capitatus l. and sarcopoterium spinosum spach during the course of a year



The lipid content and fatty acid composition of leaves twigs and roots of thymus capitatus l. and sarcopoterium spinosum spach during the course of a year



Flora (Jena) 184(3): 221-229



The total lipid content of leaves (winter and summer leaves), twigs and roots of Thymus (Coridothymus) capitatus and Sascopoterium spinosum (dwarf-shrubs of the Greek phrygana vegetation) was investigated throughout the period of one year. The fatty acids of the saponifiable lipids were determined by gas liquid chromatography. The total lipid content of fully expanded winter leaves of both species was high (approximately 9%) while that of the summer leaves was low (approximately 4%). In addition, the total lipid content of roots and twigs was increasing during winter and it was decreasing during summer drought. Palmitic and linolenic acids were distinguished as the most important fatty acids in the leaves (winter and summer leaves). On the other hand, palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids were distinguished as the most important fatty acids in the twigs. Palmitic and oleic acid content increased during summer and decreased during winter. However, high values of linoleic acid were found during winter and low values during summer. Roots exhibited a different fatty acid composition in both plants. The molar quotient (MQ) of multiple unsaturated to saturated fatty acids increased late in autumn, reached its maximum value during winter and decreased during summer. The molar quotient variations found in all plant parts of Thymus capitatus and Sarcopoterium spinosum were small when compared with those of evergreen sclerophylls.

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