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Otto L.-G.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research | Junghanns W.R.,Dr. Junghanns GmbH | Plescher A.,PHARMAPLANT Arznei und Gewurzpflanzen Forschungs und Saatzucht GmbH | Sonnenschein M.,PHARMAPLANT Arznei und Gewurzpflanzen Forschungs und Saatzucht GmbH | Sharbel T.F.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research
Plant Breeding | Year: 2015

German chamomile is an important medical plant with a long history of usage and a wide range of medical applications. Wild forms are diploid, whereas cultivated ones are diploid and tetraploid. Ploidy level variation within 15 origins (varieties, accessions, populations) of chamomile was investigated. Both naturally occurring triploids and those induced through directed crosses between diploid and tetraploid parents were identified and analysed, and these data could facilitate the exploitation of triploidy in chamomile as in other crop plants (fruit and ornamental plants). © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

In 2009 to 2011, the seed quality of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) and valerian (Valeriana officinalis I.) on the German seed market was studied with respect to the quality parameters purity, germination capacity, content of foreign seeds and thousand-seed-weight. The results were compared to the newly published quality suggestions in the "Manual of Medicinal and Spice Plants Cultivation" (Hoppe 2009) as well as the standard of the former TGL14197 of the GDR. Only 42% of all chamomile seed charges met the suggestions according to Hoppe 2009 and 50% the quality criteria of the GDR-TGL 14197. In case of lemon balm and valerian, the respective values were 36% and 9% (Hoppe 2009) as well as 64% and 25% (TGL 14197 of the GDR). The following weak points of the different cultures were identified: 1. Some batches with a very high content of foreign seeds in the case of chamomile. 2. Low germination capacity in all years of the investigation in case of valerian. 3. Decreased germination capacity in one third of the samples studied in lemon balm. These results should be the reason for farmers to question the seed quality of medicinal and spice plants on the market and to require information on the purity, germination capacity, thousand-seed-weight and content of foreign seeds from the seed producers and traders. In addition, the results might serve as basis for new discussions on standards in seed production and trading of medicinal and spice plants. © ERLING Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 2014.

Wahl S.,Pharmaplant Arznei und Gewurzpflanzen Forschungs und Saatzucht GmbH | Plescher A.,Pharmaplant Arznei und Gewurzpflanzen Forschungs und Saatzucht GmbH
Zeitschrift fur Arznei- und Gewurzpflanzen | Year: 2015

The germination behavior of three strains of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) and valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.) were studied at temperatures between 1°C and 27 °C and the one of six lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L) strains at temperatures between 1°C and 33 °C. The beginning, rate and average period of germination express the germination power at different incubation temperatures. The research period was 21 days. With respect to germination dynamics, there were great differences between chamomile characterized by a wide ecological amplitude, valerian with the main distribution in the northern hemisphere and lemon balm as a Mediterranean plant. Chamomile needed a temperature of at least 5°C for starting germination within 21 days. The optimum germination temperature was between 11°C and 27°C. At these temperatures no germination delay was detected. At 11 °C, germination began afters days, and between 17 °C and 27°C after 3 days. The three analyzed chamomile strains did not show a significant difference with respect to germination behavior. For starting germination within 21 days, valerian needed a temperature of at least 5°C. Increased incubation temperature decreased the germination time from 20 days (5°C) to 4.5 days (above 23 °C). Temperatures higher than 25 °C seemed to be suboptimal. There were no significant differences between the three analyzed strains as long as they did not differ in germination capacity. Typically, lemon balm germinates at warm temperatures. To start germination within 21 days, lemon balm needed at least 15/8 °C (day/night). At these temperatures, germination started between 9 and 13 days after sowing. The optimal temperature to obtain the fastest germination of 4 days and a medium germination of 5 days is between 27/18°C (day/night) and 33/20 °C (day/night). The six lemon balm strains studies differed with respect to germination; however, these differences could not be statistically confirmed. These results can contribute to optimize the seeding time for direct seeding and for - if needed - herbicide applications.

Sonnenschein M.,Pharmaplant Arznei und Gewurzpflan zen Forschungs und Saatzucht GmbH | Tegtmeier M.,Schaper and Brummer GmbH and Co. KG
Zeitschrift fur Arznei- und Gewurzpflanzen | Year: 2012

For treating mild recurrent lower urinary tract infections the leaves of bearberry are used as standard phytotherapy with the hydroquinone derivative arbutin being the value-determining component. Bearberry is an indeciduous, reptant shrub belonging to the family of the Ericaceae. In some European countries it is a protected species. At present, raw material sourcing is done via in-situ collection in Eastern Europe and Spain. The intent of the study is the domestication of bearberry according to the interest of the phytopharmaceutical industry to obtain standardised raw material produced by controlled cultivation. Screening of 53 different bearberry provenances was the basis for the selection of adequate origins. The quantification of hydroquinone derivatives, calculated as anhydrous arbutin, showed arbutin concentrations between 8.3% and 18.9%. Thus, all tested provenances reached an arbutin content of more than 7% as specified in the monograph on bearberry in the European Pharmacopoeia. Vitality and growth characteristics of the provenances were tested in a substrate-bulk-container-experiment with seven different substrates and pH-values between 3.8 and 7.5. Essential issues for cultivation such as crop establishment, plant care measures, harvest, and yield expectations were tested on a 500 m 2 area with two different bearberry provenances. A high failure rate during young plant culture was caused by fungal pathogens.

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