Creation of new germplasm resources, development of SSR markers, and screening of monoterpene synthases in thyme

作  者:Sun MY#, Zhu L#, Zhang YA, Liu NN, Zhang JZ, Li H, Bai HT, Shi L*
刊物名称:BMC Plant Biology
卷:23  期:1  页码:13



Thyme derived essential oil and its components have numerous applications in pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries, owing to their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. To obtain thyme essential oil with different terpene composition, we developed new germplasm resources using the conventional hybridization approach.


Phenotypic characteristics, including essential oil yield and composition, glandular trichome density, plant type, and fertility, of three wild Chinese and seven European thyme species were evaluated. Male-sterile and male-fertile thyme species were crossed in different combinations, and two F1 populations derived from Thymus longicaulis (Tl) × T. vulgaris ‘Fragrantissimus’ (Tvf) and T. vulgaris ‘Elsbeth’ (Tve) × T. quinquecostatus (Tq) crosses were selected, with essential oil yield and terpene content as the main breeding goals. Simultaneously, simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers were developed based on the whole-genome sequence of T. quinquecostatus to authenticate the F1 hybrids. A total of 300 primer pairs were selected, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was carried out on the parents of the two hybrid populations (Tl, Tvf, Tve, and Tq). Based on the chemotype of the parents and their F1 progenies, we examined the expression of genes encoding two γ-terpinene synthases, one α-terpineol synthase, and maybe one geraniol synthase in all genotypes by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR).


We used hybridization to create new germplasm resources of thyme, developed SSR markers based on the whole-genome sequence of T. quinquecostatus, and screened the expression of monoterpene synthase genes in thyme. The results of this study provide a strong foundation for the creation of new germplasm resources, construction of the genetic linkage maps, and identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs), and help gain insight into the mechanism of monoterpenoids biosynthesis in thyme.