Effect of Fertilizer type and Plant Density on Flavonoligans Yield of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum L.) under Rainfed and Irrigated Conditions

1 A. A. Askari, 2 Sh. O. Baban , 3 R. M. Ahmed
1,3 Field Crops, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Sulaimani, 2 College of Education, Salahaddin University

The present study was conducted at Bazian location during two winter seasons of 2010- 2011
and 2011- 2012 A factorial experiment was conducted using Completely Randomized Block Design
(CRBD) with three replications. The study included two different irrigation; Rainfed and Irrigated,
combined with three fertilization applications; No fertilization Chemical fertilization and Organic
fertilization and two different plant densities;8 16 plant m-2. The most important results of the
average of both seasons can be summarized as follows:- Fruit samples were analyzed qualitatively
and quantitatively by HPLC for their contents of flavonolignans. Data show that the treatment of
rainfed exhibited superior values for the silychristin B and isosilybin B, while irrigated treatment
produced maximum values for the silybin A and weight of flavonolignans in fruits. The treatment of
no fertilization showed its superiority for the silychristin A, silychristin B, silydianin, isosilybin A
and total flavonolignans, while organic fertilization produced maximum values for the silybin A and
weight of flavonolignans in fruits. The effect of 8 plant m-2 exhibited maximum values for the silybin
A, silybin B, isosilybin A and total flavonolignans, while 16 plant m-2 produced maximum value for
the weight of flavonolignans in fruits. Interaction between rainfed and no fertilization increased the
amount of silychristin B, silydianin, silybin B, isosilybin A, isosilybin B and total flavonolignans,
while interaction of irrigated and organic fertilization produced maximum values for the weight of
flavonolignans in fruits. The treatment of irrigated and 16 plant m-2 exhibited superior value for the
weight of flavonolignans in fruits. No fertilization and 8 plant m-2 treatment interactions produced
maximum value for the isosilybin A, while in case of interaction between rainfed, no fertilization
and 8 plant m-2 treatments exhibited maximum value for the isosilybin A. The treatment
interactions of organic fertilization and 8 plant m-2 produced maximum values for the weight 
of flavonolignans in fruits.

Keywords: medicinal plant, Milk thistle, fertilization, irrigation, plant density,


[1]Carrier, D. J., T. Crowe, S. Sokhansanj, J. Wahab and B. Barl [2002]. Milk thistle, Silybum
marianum L. Gaertn., flower head development and associated marker compound profile.
Journal of Herbs Spices Medicinal Plants, [10]: 65-74.
[2] Andrzejewska, J., K. Sadowska and S. Mielcarek [2011]. Effect of Sowing date and rate on the
yield and flavonolignans content of the fruits of milk thistle [Silybum marianum L. Gaertn.]
grow on light soil in a moderate climate. Industrial Crops and Products, [33]: 462-468.
[3] Haban, M., P. Otepka, L. Kobida and M. Habanova [2009]. Production and quality of milk thistle
[Silybum marianum [L.] Gaertn.] cultivated in cultural conditions of warm agri-climatic
macroregion. Horticulture Sciences [PRAGUE], 36 [2]: 25-30.
[4] Macak, M., E. Demjanova and E. Hunkova [2007]. Forecrop value of milk thistle [Silybum
marianum [L.] Gaertn.] in sustainable crop rotation. In: 1st International Scientific Conference
on Medicinal, Aromatic and Spice Plants [Book of Scientific Papers and Abstracts]. Nitra,
Slovak University of Agriculture: 102-104.
[5] Gazak, R., D. Walterova and V. Kren [2007]. Silybin and silymarin- new and emerging
applications in medicine. Current Medicinal Chemistry, [14]: 315- 338.
[6] Haider, B. A., A. K. Mubarak, M. Tariq, A. Mushtaq, F. CH. Muhammed and Kh. Mir- Ajab
[2010]. Shoot regeneration and free- radical scavenging activity in Silybum marianum [L.].
Plant Cell Organ Culture, [101]: 371- 376.
[7] Fraschini, F., G. Demartini and D. Esposti [2002]. Pharmacology of silymarin. Cilinical drug
Invest, 22[1]: 51-65.

[8] Hadolin, M., M. Skerget, Z. Knez and D. Bauman [2001]. High pressure extraction of vitamin E-
rich oil from Silybum marianum. Food Chemistry, [74]: 355-64.

[9] Trease, G. E. and W. C. Evans [2002]. Pharmacognosy .15th ed. Springer. UK. [1]:3-10.
[10] Marwat Khan, B. and A. kh. Muhammad [2007]. Climatic Variation and Growth of Holy Thistle
[Silybum Marianum Gaertn. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 39[2]: 319-327.
[11] Malekzadeh, M., S. I. Mirmazloum, H. R. Anguorani, S. N. Mortazavi and M. Panahi [2011].
The physicochemical properties and oil constituents of milk thistle [Silybum marianum
Gaertn. cv. Budakalászi] under drought stress. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, Vol. 5
[8]: 1485-1488.
[12] Kvasnicka, F., B. Bıba, R. Sevcık, M. Voldrich and J. Kratka [2003]. Analysis of the active
components of silymarin. Journal of Chromatography A990: 239-245.
[13] Maruk, A., p. Juozas, B. Krristina and K. Olaga [2010]. Comparison of phytochemical
composition of medical plants by means of chromatographic and related techniques. Procedia
Chemistery, [2]: 89- 91.
[14] Abuzid, S. [2012]. Silymarin, Natural Flavonolignans from Milkthistle, Photochemicals – A
Global Perspective of Their Role in Nutrition and Health, Venketeshwer Rao[ED.], ISBN 978-

953-51-0296-0, In Tech, Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/book/phytochemicals-a-
global-perspective-of-their role-in nutrition-and-health/silymarin-natural- flavonolignans-
from-milk- thistle.
[15] Kroll, D. J., H. S. Shaw and N. H. Oberlies [2007]. Milk thistle nomenclature: Why its matters
in cancer research and pharmacokinetic studies. Journal of Integrative Cancer Therapies, [6]:
[16] Sabir, M. N., [2008]. Pharmacognostic and Pharmacologic Study of Silybum marianum Grown in
Iraqi- Kurdistan Region. A dissertation submitted to the council of the college of medicine at
the University of Sulaimani.
[17] Kozlowski, J. and M. Hołynska [1984]. Effect of fertilization andmoisture in a pot experiment on
the changes of silymarin content and efficiency as well as yield of Silybum marianum Gaertn.
fruits. Herba Pololonica Journal., 3 [4]: 191-198.
[18] Hammouda, F. M., S. I. Ismail, N. M. Hassan, A. K. Zaki, A. Kamel and H. Rimpler [1993].
Evaluation of the silymarin content in Silybum marianum [L.] Gaertn. Cultivated under
different agricultural conditions. Phytotherapy Research, [7]: 90-91.
[19] Geneva, M., I. Stancheva, M. Sichanova, M. Boycinova, G. Georgiev and M. Dolezal [2008].
Improvement of milk thistle [Silybum marianum L.] seed yield and quality with foliar
application and growth effector MD 148/II. General and Applied Plant Physiology, [34]: 309-
[20] Rahimi, A. and K. Manijeh [2012]. Different Planting Date and Fertilizing System Effects on the
Seed Yield, Essential Oil and Nutrition Uptake of Milk Thistle [Silybum marianum [L.]
Gaertn]. Advances in Environmental Biology, 6[5]: 1789-1796.