Conclusion

Eight fungal, two viral, one Phytoplasma, and various nematode diseases of ginger besides nine minor diseases have been discussed. These diseases of ginger affect the crop at one or the other developmental stage resulting in huge losses to the growers and ginger industry as well. Mixed infection in rhizomes of ginger by one or the other pathogen has also been reported. Many of the diseases are either rhizome- or soil-borne or both. Since the crop is vegetatively propagated, very little variability exists in the ginger germplasm all over the world. Integrated management practices are thus the only practical solution to combat ginger foliar and rhizome diseases.

A pesticide-conscious world is looking for pesticide residue—free food products, especially spices, as they are often used without any cooking. Disease-free clean ginger seed needs to be grown within the framework of organic farming. Ginger seed (rhizome) needs to be healthy, and this warrants further research in growing such rhizomes by the management practice of either exclusion or exclusion by eradication in suppressive sandy loam soils. The use of locally available organic amendments and mulches in ginger requires comprehensive studies in monitoring pathogen vis-à-vis antagonistic microflora during the growth period of the crop. An active program for developing disease-resistant genotypes through genetic engineering approaches may be the only lasting solution for the disease problem in ginger.

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