MP, micropropagated plants; CR, callus-regenerated plants

MP, micropropagated plants; CR, callus-regenerated plants internodal distance, and dry recovery percentage, all the three groups are on par. When we consider the range observed within the group, micropropagated plants showed the highest range with regard to plant height, number of tillers and leaves per plant, width of rhizome, and number of nodes per finger, whereas callus-regenerated plants showed the highest range with regard to internodal distance and yield.

Variations were also observed among tissue-cultured and callus-regenerated plants in their oleoresin content, fiber content, and dry recovery. The oleoresin content ranged from 1.6 to 7.6 percent, crude fiber percentage ranged from 3.6 to 6.7, and dry recovery from 21.2 to 31.8 percent among the tissue-cultured plants, whereas the control had 5.2 percent oleoresin, 5.9 percent fiber, and 28 percent dry recovery.

Nirmal Babu (1997) and Nirmal Babu et al. (1996b) observed variations in both micropropagated and callus-regenerated plants with respect to their tolerance to Pythium aphanidermatum and Ralstonia solanacearum (Pseudomonas solanacearum) when the plants were inoculated twice with the organism. Eight somaclones showed a relatively low percentage of disease incidence (P aphanidermatum infection). However, these lines succumbed to infection in field trials and pot culture experiments (Kumar et al., unpublished data), indicating insufficient levels of disease resistance. Isolation of Pythium-tolerant lines was earlier reported in ginger (Kulkarni et al., 1987). Intraclonal variations are known in ginger and turmeric, and many promising lines and varieties were identified after clonal selection (Rajeevan and Mohanakumaran, 1993; Khader et al., 1994; Rattan et al., 1994). This accounts for variations observed in conventionally propagated plants. These preexisting variations are also reflected at higher level in micropropagated and callus-regenerated plants. Thus, somaclonal variation is an important source of variability and can be exploited for crop-improvement programs in ginger.

A few promising lines having important yield attributes and other useful characters could be selected from both micropropagated and callus-regenerated lines (Nirmal Babu, 1997).

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