First results of investigations into causes of diseases of cultivatedchamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) in Germany
Diseases on cultivated chamomile have occurred in Germany since 2007, which have severely been affecting the crop yields. The causes of damage are very complex and have not been identified yet. Additionally to the damage in the stems caused by larvae, fungal pathogens are of relevance. Tests of the Julius Kühn-Institute first revealed that a new, not yet identified fungus is pathogenic to chamomile. Symptoms observed in infection tests like chlorosis, browning and black coloration of stems and leaflets were identical to those in the field. The fungus sporulated on diseased plant parts under the conditions of climatic chamber (20 °C to 22 °C and 12 hours of light, 122 μmol) from 17 days after inoculation (dai) and could be reisolated on agar plates. The identification, biology and epidemiology of the fungus as well as the specific harmful effect and interaction with other harmful factors, especially animal pests, are being studied presently in a project funded by the Agency for Renewable Resources (Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe, FNR). The goal is to develop sustainable plant protection concepts based on the knowledge about the pathogens to enable a stable cultivation of chamomile in Germany.