Seed fixed oil content, oil yield, and fatty acids profile of Nigella sativa L. in response to fertilization and plant density


  • Ioannis ROUSSIS Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Crop Science, Laboratory of Agronomy, 75 Iera Odos str., 11855 Athens (GR)
  • Ioanna KAKABOUKI Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Crop Science, Laboratory of Agronomy, 75 Iera Odos str., 11855 Athens (GR)
  • Antonios MAVROEIDIS Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Crop Science, Laboratory of Agronomy, 75 Iera Odos str., 11855 Athens (GR)
  • Vassilios TRIANTAFYLLIDIS University of Patras, Department of Business Administration of Food and Agricultural Enterprises, 30100 Agrinio (GR)
  • Anastasios ZOTOS University of Patras, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, 30200 Messolonghi (GR)
  • Chariklia KOSMA University of Patras, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, 30200 Messolonghi (GR)
  • Dimitrios BILALIS Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Crop Science, Laboratory of Agronomy, 75 Iera Odos str., 11855 Athens (GR)



α-linolenic acid, compost, fixed oil, inorganic fertilizer, linoleic acid, oleic acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)


The current study aimed to assess the impacts of fertilization and plant density on fixed oil content, oil yield, and fatty acids profile of Nigella sativa L. under Mediterranean environment. The 3-year experiment was set up in a split-plot design with three replications, two main plots (plant densities: 200 and 300 plants m-2) and four sub-plots (fertilization treatments: control, seaweed compost, farmyard manure and inorganic fertilizer). The seed yield, fixed oil content, as well as the fixed oil yield were positively affected by the increase of available nitrogen and negatively by the increase of plant density, with their highest values recorded in the low-density and inorganic fertilization. Regarding the composition in fatty acids, it was found that with the increase of plant density there was a decrease in saturated (SAFA: myristic, palmitic and stearic acid) and polyunsaturated (PUFA: linoleic, α-linolenic and eicosadenoic acid) fatty acids, while there was an increase in oleic acid which was the only monounsaturated fatty acid detected in fixed oil. In terms of fertilization, the organic fertilizers were the ones that contributed positively to the content of the respective fatty acid. As a conclusion, plant densities greater than 200 plants m-2 result in lower seed yield, fixed oil content and yield, whereas the effect of inorganic fertilization was equally important in seed and fixed oil yield; however, when the seed and/or its fixed oil are utilized for their high medicinal and nutritional value, the application of compost is indicated, resulting in a significant increase in the content of PUFAs, characterized for their beneficial effects on human health.


Ahmed WM, Mariod AA, Yagoub SO, Cheng SF (2018). Impact of fertilizers on chemical analysis, amino acid and fatty acid composition of Sudanese soybean genotype. Agronomski Glasnik 80:206004.

Ansari Ardali S (2014). Effects of plant density and nitrogen rate on fatty acids profile of grain of amaranth (Amaranthus hypocondriacos L.). International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences 7:390-392.

Ashraf M, Ali Q, Iqbal Z (2006). Effect of nitrogen application rate on the content and composition of oil, essential oil and minerals in black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seeds. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 86(6):871-876.

Aytac Z, Gulmezoglu N, Saglam T, Kulan EG, Selengil U, Hosgun HL (2017). Changes in N, K, and fatty acid composition of black cumin seeds affected by nitrogen doses under supplemental potassium application. Journal of Chemistry 2017:3162062.

Bachlava E, Burton JW, Brownie C, Wang S, Auclair J, Cardinal AJ (2008). Heritability of oleic acid content in soybean seed oil and its genetic correlation with fatty acid and agronomic traits. Crop Science 48:1764-1772.

Bajeli J, Tripathi S, Kumar A, Tripathi A, Upadhyay (2016). Organic manures a convincing source for quality production of Japanese mint (Mentha arvensis L.). Industrial Crops and Products 83:603-606.

Bilalis D, Krokida M, Roussis I, Papastylianou P, Travlos I, Cheimona N, Dede A (2018). Effects of organic and inorganic fertilization on yield and quality of processing tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). Folia Horticulturae 30:321-332.

Bistgani ZE, Siadat SA, Bakhshandeh A, Pirbalouti AG, Hashemi M, Maggi F, Morshedloo MR (2018). Application of combined fertilizers improves biomass, essential oil yield, aroma profile, and antioxidant properties of Thymus daenensis Celak. Industrial Crops and Products 121:434-440.

Brennan RF, Bolland MDA (2007). Influence of potassium and nitrogen fertiliser on yield, oil and protein concentration of canola (Brassica napus L.) grain harvested in south-western Australia. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 47(8):976-983.

Calder PC, Yaqoob P (2009). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and human health outcomes. Biofactors 35:266-272.

Cheikh-Rouhou S, Besbes S, Hentati B, Blecker C, Deroanne C, Attia H (2007). Nigella sativa L.: Chemical composition and physicochemical characteristics of lipid fraction. Food Chemistry 101:673-681.

Dai JL, Li WJ, Tang W, Zhang DM, Li ZH, Lu HQ, . . . Dong HZ (2015). Manipulation of dry matter accumulation and partitioning with plant density in relation to yield stability of cotton under intensive management. Field Crops Research 180:207-215.

Darakhshan S, Tahvilian R, Colagar AH, Babolsar I (2015). Nigella sativa: A plant with multiple therapeutic implications. International Journal of Pharmacognosy 2:190-194.

EC 834/2007. 2007. (EC) No. 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91. The Council of the European Union, Europe.

EC 2015/1833. 2015. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1833 of 12 October 2015 amending Regulation (EEC) No. 2568/91 on the characteristics of olive oil and olive-residue oil and on the relevant methods of analysis. The Council of the European Union, Europe.

Fallah S, Rostaei M, Lorigooini Z, Surki AA (2018). Chemical compositions of essential oil and antioxidant activity of dragonhead (Dracocephalum moldavica) in sole crop and dragonhead-soybean (Glycine max) intercropping system under organic manure and chemical fertilizers. Industrial Crops and Products 115:158-165.

Gao J, Thelen KD, Min D-H, Smith S, Hao X, Gehl R (2010). Effects of manure and fertilizer applications on canola oil content and fatty acid composition. Agronomy Journal 102(2):790-797.

Ganjineh E, Babaii F, Mozafari A, Mirzaei Heydari M, Naseri R (2019). Effect of urea, compost, manure and bio-fertilizers on yield, percentage and composition of fatty acids of sesame seed oil (Sesamum indicum L.). Cellular and Molecular Biology 65(5):64-72.

Gharby S, Harhar H, Guillaume D, Roudani A, Boulbaroud S, Ibrahimi M, . . . Charrouf Z (2015). Chemical investigation of Nigella sativa L. seed oil produced in Morocco. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences 14(2):172-177.

Gholinezhad E, Abdolrahimi B (2014). The investigation of oil yield of three varieties of black seed (Nigella sativa) in different plant densities. International Journal of Advanced Biological and Biomedical Research 2(4):919-930.

Giridhar K, Reddy GS, Kumari SS, Kumari AL, Sivasankar A (2016). Showing windows, plant density, nitrogen and phosphorus influence fatty acid profile of Nigella sativa L. In: National seminar on sustainable production of seed spices under changing climate scenario. ICAR-NRCSS Ajmer, Directorate of arecanut and spices development, Calicut and Abhinav Parkashan, Ajmer, India pp. 327-334.

Hassanien MFR, Assiri AMA, Alzohairy AM, Oraby HF (2015). Health-promoting value and food applications of black cumin essential oil: An overview. Journal of Food Science and Technology 52:6136-6142.

Hiltbrunner J, Streit B, Liedgens M (2007). Are seeding densities an opportunity to increase grain yield of winter wheat in a living mulch of white clover? Field Crops Research 102:163-171.

Hosseini SS, Rezadoost H, Nadjafi F, Asareh MH (2019). Comparative essential oil composition and fatty acid profiling of some Iranian black cumin landraces. Industrial Crops and Products 140:111628.

Kakabouki IP, Hela D, Roussis I, Papastylianou P, Sestras AF, Bilalis DJ (2018). Influence of fertilization and soil tillage on nitrogen uptake and utilization efficiency of quinoa crop (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 18:220-235.

Kakabouki I, Tataridas A, Mavroeidis A, Kousta A, Roussis I, Katsenios N, . . . Papastylianou P (2021). Introduction of alternative crops in the Mediterranean to satisfy EU Green Deal goals. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 41:71.

Kiralan M, Özkan G, Bayrak A, Ramadan MF (2014). Physico-chemical properties and stability of black cumin (Nigella sativa) seed oil as affected by different extraction methods. Industrial Crops and Products 57:52-58.

Kooti W, Hasanzadeh-Noohi Z, Sharafi-Ahvazi N, Asadi-Samani M, Ashtary-Larky D (2016). Phytochemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutic uses of black seed (Nigella sativa). Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines 14(10):732-745.

Li WP, Shi HB, Zhu K, Zheng Q, Xu Z (2017). The quality of sunflower seed oil changes in response to nitrogen fertilizer. Agronomy Journal 109(6):2499-2507.

Lin TY (2006). Conjugated linoleic acid production by cells and enzyme extract of Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus with additions of different fatty acids. Food Chemistry 94:437-441.

Liu P, Wang CM, Li L, Sun F, Yue GH (2011). Mapping QTLs for oil traits and eQTLs for oleosin genes in jatropha. BMC Plant Biology 11:132.

Mengel DB, Rehm GW (2012). Fundamentals of fertilizer application. In: Huang PM, Li Y, Summer ME (Eds). Handbook of Soil Sciences, Resource Management and Environmental Impacts. CRC Press (2nd ed), Boca Raton, FL, USA, pp. 14–1–14–15.

Meena SS, Anwer MM, Mehta RS, Lal G, Kant K, Sharma YK, . . . Meena SR (2011). Performance of nigella (Nigella sativa L.) as influenced by sowing dates and crop geometry in semi-arid ecosystem. International Journal of Seed Spices 1(1):8-12.

Meru G, Fu Y, Leyva D, Sarnoski P, Yagiz Y (2018). Phenotypic relationships among oil, protein, fatty acid composition and seed size traits in Cucurbita pepo. Scientia Horticulturae 233:47-53.

Mollafilabi A, Moodi H, Rashed MH, Kafi M (2010). Effects of plant density and nitrogen on yield and yield components of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.). Acta Horticulturae 853:115-126.

Naguib AEMM, El-Baz FK, Salama ZA, Hanna HAEB, Ali HF (2012). Enhancement of phenolics, flavonoids and glucosinolates of Broccoli (Brassica olaracea, var. Italica) as antioxidants in response to organic and bio-organic fertilizers. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences 11(2):135-142.

Nickavar B, Mojab F, Javidnia K, Amoli MAR (2003). Chemical composition of the fixed and volatile oils of Nigella sativa L. from Iran. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C 58(9-10):629-631.

Özgüven M, Sekeroglu N (2007). Agricultural practices for high yield and quality of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) cultivated in Turkey. Acta Horticulturae 756:329-338.

Roussis I, Kakabouki I, Beslemes D, Tigka E, Kosma C, Triantafyllidis V, . . . Bilalis D (2022). Nitrogen uptake, use efficiency, and productivity of Nigella sativa L. in response to fertilization and plant density. Sustainability 14(7):3842.

Roussis I, Kakabouki I, Bilalis D (2019). Comparison of growth indices of Nigella sativa L. under different plant densities and fertilization. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture 31(4): 231-247.

Ruxton CHS, Calder PC, Reed SC, Simpson MJA (2005). The impact of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on human health. Nutrition Research Reviews 18:113-129.

Scheiner JD, Gutiérrez-Boem FH, Lavado RS (2002). Sunflower nitrogen requirement and 15N fertilizer recovery in Western Pampas, Argentina. European Journal of Agronomy 17(1):73-79.

Shah SH (2007). Influence of nitrogen and phytohormone spray on seed, inorganic protein and oil yield and oil properties of Nigella sativa L. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences 6(2):364-368.

Sharma R, Aggarwal RA, Kumar R, Mohapatra T, Sharma R (2002). Construction of an RAPD linkage map and localization of QTLs for oleic acid level using recombinant inbreds in mustard (Brassica juncea). Genome 45(3):467-472.

Sicak Y, Erdogan Eluiz EA (2019). Chemical content and biological activity spectrum of Nigella sativa seed oil. KSU Journal of Agriculture and Nature 22(6):928-934.

Simopoulos AP (2008). The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Experimental Biology and Medicine 233:674-688.

Taylor AJ, Smith CJ, Wilson IB (1991). Effect of irrigation and nitrogen fertilizer on yield, oil content, nitrogen accumulation and water use of canola (Brassica napus L.). Fertilizer Research 29:249-260.

Terzi A, Coban S, Yildiz F, Ates M, Bitiren M, Taskin A, Aksoy N (2010). Protective effects of Nigella sativa on intestinal ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. Journal of Investigative Surgery 23(1):21-27.

Tuncturk R, Tuncturk M, Ciftci V (2012). The effects of varying nitrogen doses on yield and some yield components of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.). Advances in Environmental Biology 6:855-885.



How to Cite

ROUSSIS, I., KAKABOUKI, I., MAVROEIDIS, A., TRIANTAFYLLIDIS, V., ZOTOS, A., KOSMA, C., & BILALIS, D. (2022). Seed fixed oil content, oil yield, and fatty acids profile of Nigella sativa L. in response to fertilization and plant density. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 50(2), 12768.



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha50212768

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 > >>