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Structural and functional diversity in Origanum vulgare L.

Author: Mutu Ana
Degree:doctor of biology
Speciality: 03.00.12 - Plant physiology
Scientific advisers: Maria Duca
doctor habilitat, professor, Moldova State University
GILLE Elvira
doctor în științe biologice, profesor universitar, România


The thesis was presented on the 23 January, 2020
Approved by NCAA on the 31 July, 2020


Adobe PDF document1.06 Mb / in romanian


CZU 581.1:635.714(043.2)

Adobe PDF document 5.39 Mb / in romanian
176 pages


Origanum vulgare ssp. vulgare L., inter- and intrapopulational diversity, molecular markers, chemotype, terpene synthase, secondary metabolism


Structure of the thesis: The thesis include introduction, 7 chapters, general conclusions and recommendations, 291 references, 136 basic text pages, 25 tables, 45 figures and 9 annexes. The obtained results are published in 14 scientific papers.

The aim of the paper is to study the structural and functional diversity of Origanum vulgare ssp. vulgare plants in the spontaneous flora of the Republic of Moldova (Orheiul Vechi reserve) in terms of correlative indexes of growth and development, as well aspects of the transcription activity of terpene synthases and accumulation secondary metabolites.

Objectives of the research: highlighting the morphological and physiological peculiarities of the O. vulgare ssp. vulgare; evaluation of intraspecific molecular polymorphism by RAPD and EST-SSR genotyping; study of the variability of secondary metabolism compounds and the determination of the volatile oil chemical profile; estimating transcriptional activity of genes encoding terpenic synthases involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolite products; identifying the correlative peculiarities of morphological, molecular-genetic, biochemical and physiological diversity of O. vulgare ssp. vulgare plants in the native natural habitat.

Scientific novelty and originality. Comprehensive genetic and molecular research on the biosynthesis of the main biochemical compounds of essential oil of O. vulgare have been performed. The studies have highlighted the level of expression of the genes involved in terpene synthesis pathways and the evaluation of subpopulations of O. vulgare ssp. vulgare the belonging from spontaneous flora of the Republic of Moldova. Thus, the analytical approach to the integration of biological information (morphological, biochemical and molecular data), becomes essential for the study of the species and gives to breeders a special perspective, referring to the elucidation of the mechanisms underpinning the economically relevant characters.

The most important solved scientific problem consist in the fundamentation of the knowledge regarding the structural-functional diversity of the plants of O. vulgare ssp. vulgare from the native spontaneous flora, which allowed, the identification of the high level of the morphological, moleculargenetic and physiological variability, within the population of the natural habitat, indicating on an increased capacity to adapt to the environmental conditions and on the exploitation of a biological potential for the conservation of the vegetal resource of O. vulgare ssp. vulgare.

Theoretical significance. The carried out investigations provided substantial scientific information on the morphological, molecular and biochemical variability of O. vulgare ssp. vulgare from a previously unexplored geographic area. Also, the concluding findings with regard to the expression profile of seven terpene synthase, the correlative associations with terpene content and their derivatives have theoretical contributions to elucidating the biosynthesis and biochemical interconnection processes of the secondary metabolites.

Applicative value of the work. The information has been obtained by correlative association of morphological, biochemical and physiological parameters provides the primary scientific support for the development of further investigations with potential technological transfer. Compounds (terpenes), morphological and molecular features (RAPD, SSR fingerprints) have been identified with potential for discrimination and plant authentication, essential elements in marker-assisted selection. Genotypes with a wide genetic diversity and high content in secondary metabolites identified from spontaneous flora may be promoters in programs to efficiently harness the plant resource of O. vulgare ssp. vulgare.

Implementation of scientific results. RAPD, EST-SSRs markers, and primers developed to determine the level of expression of terpene synthase genes are used in the study of O. vulgare in the Center of Functional Genetics and are recommended for subsequent genetic and molecular studies. The results can be used as reference support in breeding programs and strategies of species conservation. At the same time, they represent scientific-didactic material for plant physiology courses, biochemistry, molecular biology and biostatistics.