Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rose.) is an important source of spice and essential oil, and both products are obtained from the underground stem or rhizome, which also serves as planting material. Apart from India, ginger is also grown in China, Hawaii (USA), Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Queensland (Australia), Sierra Leone, and the Philippines. In India, Kerala, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Assam, and other northeastern states cultivate this crop very extensively. India contributes up to 45 percent of total global production of ginger (Peter, 1997). Here ginger is cultivated in an area of about 58.1 thousand hectares with a total production of 889.4 thousand tons. Diseases are one of the major constraints of production of ginger, and of these bacterial wilt (Figure 9.1) (also called "Mahali" or "Ginger blast") is one of the most serious. Apart from wilt, rotting of bacterial origin has been recorded very infrequently (Choi and Han, 1990; Nnodu and Emehute, 1988; Sarmiento, 1959). The rot diseases are classified as bacterial soft rot and bacterial rhizome rot depending on the causative organism (Choi and Han, 1990).
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