Ginger: Zingiber officinale
Family: Zingiberaceae
  • Ginger is a herbaceous perennial grown as an annual crop. The family Zingiberaceae consists of 47 genera and about 1400 species. Among these, 22 genera and 178 species are endemic to India. Apart from cultivated ginger, the other important economic species of the genus are Z. zerumbet, Z.odoriferum, Z. spectabile, Z. squarrosum and Z.casumunnar, which are used as medicine and aromatic purposes.
Exotic Germplasm
In India, many exotic ginger cultivars have been introduced and some of them got adapted well to conditions and performed well in terms of yield and quality. Some of them are:
  • Rio-de-Janeiro (Brazil) – bold rhizome, fair skin, pungency, flavour and less fibrous
  • China (China) – extra bold rhizome, yellowish white skin, good pungency, flavour and fibrous
  • Jamaica (Jamaica) – bold rhizome, white skin, moderately pungent, high flavour and less fibrous.
  • Sierra- Leone (Sierra- Leone) – slender rhizome, buff skin, pungent, moderately flavoured and fibrous
  • Taffingiva (Nigeria) – a moderately high yielder, which is under commercial cultivation in the ginger growing tracts of Nigeria.
  • Crop improvement work in ginger is limited to clonal selection, mutation breeding and polyploidy breeding. Conventional recombination breeding programmes were handicapped by relatively shy flowering behaviour and absence of seed set.
  • The main objectives of breeding are high yield, higher driage, wide adaptability, high quality (high oil, high oleoresin, low fibre etc.) and resistance to fungal and bacterial pathogens (bacterial wilt and rhizome rot).
  • Both indigenous and introduced cultivars were screened under various geographic situations and selections made for yield, quality and resistance attributes.
  • Because of existence of sterility, alternative to induce variability is through physical and chemical mutagens. Being a vegetatively propagated crop, induced variability can be fixed immediately and true to type can be propagated.
  • Induction of variability through mutations were tried by many workers and desirable mutants identified. Ginger buds are sensitive to irradiation and LD50 was reported below 2Krad.
Polyploidy breeding
  • Because of chromosomal sterility, polyploidy breeding offers scope to explore possibilities of inducing variability in ginger

Last modified: Monday, 30 January 2012, 9:41 PM