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Oil content determination in wild chamomile populations from Banat area
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) has wide ecological amplitude and this species geological occurrence in partial all over the world. Plant habits and the creation of secondary metabolites in the chamomile are affected by the endogenous and exogenus factors, which can be divided in: morfo- ontogenetic variability and genetic variability. With regard to the essential oil content the populations were very heterogeneous even those, which came from the same habitat. The trial was carried out in the Romanian Timis County. We studied spontaneous chamomile populations around the following localities: Carani, Gavojdia, Ghiroda and Remetea. These populations were compared with the native chamomile cultivar Margaritar, cultivated on the experimental plot of the Banat University of Agricultural Science Timisoara. Comparing the values of volatile oil content of the Margaritar chamomile cultivar with the values yielded by some spontaneous populations from the Banat area we can see that compared to the Margaritar chamomile cultivar the closest value of volatile oil content was in the Remetea and Ghiroda populations (1.06%), with a difference of only 0.02% volatile oil accumulated. The values obtained in the Carani area and in the Gavojdia area are lower, i.e. 0.99 and 1.03% respectively volatile oil. One of the causes might be the slightly low temperatures in these areas. These results are particularly important not only for the valorisation of these populations but also for their improvement in order to get new Romanian chamomile cultivars, taking into account that at present the only cultivar available on the market is the Margaritar chamomile cultivar.