Influence of the Season on the Quantity and Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil and Synthesis of Secondary Metabolites in Cymbopogon martini (Roxb.) Wats.

Document Type : Original Article


1 Division of Crop Production and Protection, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, 226015, India

2 Department of Biosciences, Integral University, Dashauli, Lucknow- 226026, India

3 Division of Genetics and Plant Breeding, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, 226015, India

4 Analytical Chemistry Division, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, 226015, India


Perennial aromatic crops' production, yield, and quality are significantly impacted by seasonal variations. Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) (Poaceae) is a perennial aromatic grass that produces valuable essential oil from the leaves and inflorescence containing high concentrations of geraniol and geranyl acetate. The current study intends to determine how seasonal changes (autumn, winter, and summer) affect the production of geraniol, geraniol acetate, and essential oils from various plant components, (leaves and inflorescence). The field study was conducted at the experimental farm of India's CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants for two years (May 2018 to May 2020). Four varieties viz. cv. Tripta, Trishna, PRC1, and CIMAP Harsh were grown, and harvesting was done in three entirely different seasons, i.e., autumn, winter, and summer, for two consecutive years; thus, a total of six harvests (two in each season) were obtained. The research findings revealed that under the sub-tropical climatic conditions, cv. CIMAP Harsh performs better in yield and productivity with maximum essential oil yield obtained in the summer, followed by autumn. Maximum geraniol (89.9% and 51.26 kg ha-1) and geraniol acetate (3.0% and 1.73 kg ha-1) yields in leaves were reported during the summer season. In contrast, in inflorescence, geraniol (76.8% and 12.77 kg ha-1) yields were recorded maximum during the autumn season, irrespective of variety. In terms of essential oil yield and quality of oil, harvesting during the winter months did not make any significant difference. Nevertheless, it is intriguing to notice that the CIMAP Harsh variety placed top for the traits N2, N3, N5, N6, N7, N8, N13, N15, N21, and N22 and second for N1. In the traits N2 to N8, N13, and N14, Trishna was the variety that placed second. Therefore, it is advised that these two palmarosa cultivars be grown commercially on a wide basis.

Graphical Abstract

Influence of the Season on the Quantity and Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil and Synthesis of Secondary Metabolites in Cymbopogon martini (Roxb.) Wats.


  • Palmarosa (aromatic grass) produces essential oil with high geraniol & geranyl acetate.
  • Variations result from the genetic makeup of cv. influencing growth & yield traits.
  • CIMAP Harsh placed top for the traits N2, N3, N5, N6, N7, N8, N13, N15, N21, and N22.
  • The study concluded that CIMAP Harsh performs better for essential oil output & productivity.


Main Subjects

Chaudhari A.H., Vadodaria J.R., Patel H.T., Patel G.S. 2015. Performance of different varieties and planting date on growth of knolkhol (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes). International Journal of Research in Applied, Natural and Social Sciences 3(8): 39-42.
Chiappero J., Cappellari L.R., Palermo T.B., Giordano W., Banchio E. 2022. Influence of drought stress and PGPR inoculation on essential oil yield and volatile organic compound emissions in Mentha piperita. Horticulturae 8(12): 1120.
Clevenger J.F. 1928. Apparatus for the determination of volatile oil. Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association 17(4): 345-349.
Da Silva E.B., Soares M.G., Mariane B., Vallim M.A., Pascon R.C., Sartorelli P., Lago J.H. 2013. The seasonal variation of the chemical composition of essential oils from Porcelia macrocarpa RE Fries (Annonaceae) and their antimicrobial activity. Molecules 18(11): 13574-13587.
Dizajeyekan Y.I., Haghighi A.R., Gajoti T.E. 2016. Regional altitude and soil physicochemical factors influence the essential oil of Thymus pubescens (Lamiales: Lamiaceae). Journal of Biological and Environmental Sciences 10(29): 45-51.
Karimian V., Vahabi M.R., Roustakhiz J., Nodehi N. 2017. Identification of some ecological factors affecting essential oil of Verbascum songaricums chrenk shoots (Case study: Rangelands of Isfahan and Kohgiluyeh and Buyerahmad provinces, Iran). Journal of Rangeland Science 7(2): 183-194.
Kritika M., Jai M., Vinod G. 2013. Effect of geographical and seasonal variation on the oil yield and geraniol content of Pelargonium graveolens. International Journal of Advance Pharmaceutical Research 3(3): 45-50.
Kumar A., Gupta A.K., Siddiqui S., Siddiqui M.H., Jnanesha A.C., Lal R.K. 2022a. An assessment, prospects, and obstacles of industrially important medicinal crop Indian Senna (Cassia angustifolia Vahl.): A review. Industrial Crops and Products 187: 115472.
Kumar A., Jnanesha A.C., Kumar V.M., Lal R.K. 2022b. GGE biplot vs. AMMI analysis of genotype-by-environment data on essential oil yield in lemongrass [Cymbopogon flexuosus (nees ex. Steud) wats.] grown in semi-arid tropical regions of southern India under different agro-climatic conditions. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 103: 104439.
Kumar A., Lal R.K., Jnanesha A.C., Chanotiya C.S. 2022c. Stable genotypes selection in industrially important rose-scented Rosa grass (Cymbopogon martinii [Roxb.] Wats. var. motia Burk.). Industrial Crops and Products 187: 115497.
Ladumor R.G., Nandre B.M., Sharma M.K., Wankhade V.R., Joshi P.C. 2020. Performance of different varieties of carrot (Daucus carota L.) with respect yield, quality and chemical composition under varying sowing times. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences 9(2): 126-132. 
Lal R.K., Gupta P., Chanotiya C.S., Mishra A. 2022a. Influences of traits associations for essential oil yield stability in multi-environment trials of vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides L. Roberty). Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 103: 104448.
Lal R.K., Gupta P., Chanotiya C.S., Mishra A., Kumar A. 2023. Eminent high essential oil yielding and photosynthesis efficient genotype selection across multi-environments in the palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Wats.}. Ecological Genetics and Genomics 27: 100167.
Lal R.K., Gupta P., Mishra A., Chanotiya C.S. 2022b. Evaluation of yield and agronomic components by triallel cross and selection of high essential oil yielding hybrids in Basil. Indusustrial Crops and Products 177: 114486.
Lemos M.F., Lemos M.F., Pacheco H.P., Guimarães A.C., Fronza M., Endringer D.C., Scherer R. 2017. Seasonal variation affects the composition and antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Thymus vulgaris. Industrial Crops and Products 95: 543-548.
Liao Z., Huang Q., Cheng Q., Khan S., Yu X. 2021. Seasonal variation in chemical compositions of essential oils extracted from lavandin flowers in the Yun-Gui Plateau of China. Molecules 26(18): 5639.
Masotti V., Juteau F., Bessière J.M., Viano J. 2003. Seasonal and phenological variations of the essential oil from the narrow endemic species Artemisia molinieri and its biological activities. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 51(24): 7115-7121.
Mehalaine S., Chenchouni H. 2019. Effect of climatic factors on essential oil accumulation in two Lamiaceae species from Algerian semiarid lands. In Conference of the Arabian Journal of Geosciences (pp. 57-60). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Moghaddam H.H., Jafari A.A., Sefidkon F., Jari S.K. 2023. Influence of climatic factors on essential oil content and composition of 20 populations of Nepeta binaludensis Jamzad from Iran. Applied Biological Chemistry 66(1): 2.
Nilofer,  Singh A.K., Singh A., Singh S. 2018. Impact of sowing and harvest times and irrigation regimes on the sennoside content of Cassia angustifolia Vahl. Industrial Crops and Products 125: 482-490.
Nilofer, Singh A.K., Kaur P., Kumar D., Verma K., Kumar R..,..,., Anandkumar T.M., Chanotiya C.S., Singh S. 2021. Productivity and quality of Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Wats. as influenced by harvesting at different phenological stages. Industrial Crops and Products 174: 114215.
Paulus D., Valmorbida R., Toffoli E., Nava G.A. 2013. Content and chemical composition of essential oil of cidró depending on seasonality and harvest time. Horticultura Brasileira 31(2): 203-209.
Pintatum A., Laphookhieo S., Logie E., Berghe W.V., Maneerat W. 2020. Chemical composition of essential oils from different parts of Zingiber kerrii Craib and their antibacterial, antioxidant, and tyrosinase inhibitory activities. Biomolecules 10(2): 228.
Rao B.R., Kaul P.N., Mallavarapu G.R., Ramesh S. 1996. Effect of seasonal climatic changes on biomass yield and terpenoid composition of rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium species). Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 24(7-8): 627-635.
Sgarbossa J., Schmidt D., Schwerz F., Schwerz L., Prochnow D., Caron B.O. 2019. Effect of season and irrigation on the chemical composition of Aloysiatriphylla essential oil. Revista Ceres 66: 85-93. 
Singh, R.K., Chaudhary, B.D. 2014. Variance and covariance analysis. Biometrical methods in quantitative genetic analysis. Kalyani Publisher, New Delhi (India), 57. ISBN: 81-7663 307-0
Singh V.R., Upadhyay R.K., Lal R.K., Chanotiya C.S., Nilofer. 2018. Stable variety selection over locations and recommendations for rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium graveolens L’ Herit. ex Aiton.). Journal of Essential Oil Research 30(1): 32-39.
Singh V.R., Upadhyay R.K., Verma R.S., Padalia R.C., Lal R.K. 2017. Performance evaluation for essential oil yield, quality and trend analysis of different palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) varieties for Tarai region of Uttarakhand. International Journal of Tropical Agriculture 35(1): 171-175.
Smitha G.R., Manivel P. 2020. Genetic improvement of palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii var. motia) for herbage and essential oil yield through poly cross method of breeding. Electronic Journal of Plant Breed 12(1): 207-215.
Smitha G.R., Rana V.S. 2015. Variations in essential oil yield, geraniol and geranyl acetate contents in palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii, Roxb. Wats. var. motia) influenced by inflorescence development. Industrial Crops and Products 66: 150-160.
Soni U., Brar S., Gauttam V.K. 2015. Effect of seasonal variation on secondary metabolites of medicinal plants. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Research 6(9): 3654-3662. 
Srivastava S., Lal R.K., Singh V.R., Rout P.K., Padalia R.C., Yadav A.K., Bawitlung L., Bhatt D., Maurya A.K., Pal A., Bawankule D.U. 2022. Chemical investigation and biological activities of Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth) essential oil. Industrial Crops and Products 188: 115504.
Verma K., Singh K.P., Singh A., Lothe N.B., Nilofer, Kumar D., Singh A.K., Kumar R., Khare P., Singh S. 2021. Co-cultivation of a medicinal plant kalmegh [Andrographis paniculata (Burm. F.) Wall ex. Nees] with food crops for enhancing field productivity and resource use efficiency. Industrial Crops and Products 159: 113076.
Verma R.S., Verma R.K., Chauhan A., Yadav A.K. 2011. Seasonal variation in essential oil content and composition of Thyme, Thymus serpyllum L. cultivated in Uttarakhand Hills. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 73(2): 233-35.
Wahaba H.E., Sarhan A.Z., Salama A.B., Sharaf-Elden M.A., Gad H.M. 2017. Effect of seasonal variation on the growth and chemical composition of Cynara cardunculus L. plants. Journal of Material and Environmental Science 8(1): 318-323.
Yang L., Wen K.S., Ruan X., Zhao Y.X., Wei F., Wang Q. 2018. Response of plant secondary metabolites to environmental factors. Molecules 23(4): 762.