Analysis of the selective value of promising Melissa officinalis L. subsp. altissima (Smith.) Arcang variety
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The aim of this research was to study a promising MD 1–17 Melissa officinalis L. subsp. altissima (Smith.) Arcang. variety sample obtained in the collection of the gene pool of the Research Institute of Agriculture of Crimea (RIAC) in comparison with Krymchanka (selected in the RIAC) and Lada (selected in the All-Russian research Institute of medicinal and aromatic plants(VILAR) varieties of lemon balm M. officinalis L. subsp. officinalis. In 2017– 2019, in the Department of Essential Oil and Medicinal Plants of the RIAC,a competitive variety trial of lemon balm varieties was conducted in accordance with the methodological recommendations for the selection of essential-oil plants. A territory where this study was conducted belongs to one of the five agroclimatic regions – the upper piedmont, warm, not enough humid; to the northern subarea with moderately mild winters. Weather conditions during the years of competitive variety trial varied significantlya fact that allowed assessing the adaptability of studied variety samples and forecasting the nature of productivity potential realization in different growing conditions. As a result, it was found that MD 1–17 variety sample significantly exceeds other varieties in terms of yield of fresh raw materials, on average, by 62.2 and 77.4%, and in yield of air-dried raw materials, on average, by 32.2 and 52.2%, respectively. In terms of obtaining essential oil from air-dried raw materials, this variety sample exceeds the best in this parameter Crimean variety Krymchanka by 56.3%. Basic components of its essential oil are caryophyllene (25.3–35.9%) and germacrene D (17.7–31.2%) with almost complete absence or insignificant amount of citral (0.1–7.3%); the proportion of latter in essential oils of Krymchanka and Lada varieties can reach 36.6% or more. Novelty of this study includes the creation of the first variety of a new promising essential oil plant –M. altissima. Raw materials of this variety and products of its processing may be of interest for different ways of use, including the perfumery and cosmetics industry, for food purposes as a component of tea compositions, etc.