Paraphoma crown rot of pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium).
Pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) is commercially cultivated for the extraction of natural pyrethrin insecticides from the oil glands inside seed. Yield decline has caused significant yield losses in Tasmania during the last decade. A new pathogen of pyrethrum causing crown rot and reduced growth of the plants in yield decline affected fields of northern Tasmania was isolated from necrotic crown tissue and described as Paraphoma vinacea. Multigene phylogenetic identification of the pathogen also revealed that P. vinacea was a new species different from other Paraphoma type strains. Glasshouse pathogenicity experiments showed that P. vinacea significantly reduced belowground and total biomass of pyrethrum plants 2 months after inoculation. Dull-tan to reddish-brown discoloration of the cortical and subcortical crown tissue was observed in 100% of the infected plants. P. vinacea infected 75% of the plants inoculated with root dip and soil drench inoculation techniques in an inoculation optimization experiment. P. vinacea, the causal agent of Paraphoma crown rot disease, represents an important pathogen that will negatively impact the commercial cultivation of pyrethrum in Tasmania.