Impact of organic compost and humic acid on essential oil composition of sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. Dulce) under sandy soil conditions in Egypt

Author : Khalid K. A, Omer E. A., El Gendy A. G., Hussein M. S

Two field experiments were carried out at the Experimental Farm of National Research Centre (NRC), Egypt during two seasons (2010/2011 and 2011/2012) to investigate the effect of compost and / or humic acid on fruit yield and essential oil [(%) and yield (ml plant-1)] of sweet fennel cultivated in sand soil. Humic acid or compost had a significant effect on fruit yield (g plant-1) while the treatments interaction had more significant for the same character. Essential oil (%) and essential oil yield (ml plant-1) were more significant for humic acid or compost. The interaction treatments between humic acid and compost were highly significant for both essential oil % and oil yield (ml plant -1). Trans-anethole, estragole and fenchone were found to be the major compounds in the essential oil of sweet fennel. The maximum mean values of trans-anethole (71.1 %), estragole (35.3%) and fenchone (8.6%) were resulted from 15 kg ha -1 of humic acid, 0 kg ha -1 of humic acid (with compost) and 5 kg ha -1 of humic acid (with compost) treatments, respectively. The highest relative percentage of monoterpene hydrocarbons (2.9%) was obtained as a result of humic acid at 10 Kg ha-1 without compost. On the other hand control (without humic and compost) as well as humic at 5 Kg plant-1 without compost gave the maximum relative percentage for oxygenated monoterpene (97.5%).

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