MS, Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium. aMean of 20 replicates
MS, Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium. aMean of 20 replicates each of sucrose and mannitol, time taken for microrhizome formation was reduced to 8 months with 50 to 60 percent of the cultures responding. In this combination comparatively smaller microrhizomes, weighing up to 0.05 to 1.2 g, were produced. Microrhizomes were produced in 80 to 100 percent of cultures when sucrose concentrations were increased to 9, 10, and 12 percent. The microrhizomes from these cultures were larger with a fresh weight of 3 to 15 g in 1 to 6 months. The other combinations of sucrose and mannitol did not induce microrhizomes (see Table 4.7). Microrhizomes resembled the normal rhizomes in all respects, except for their smaller size. They consisted of two to four nodes and one to six buds. They also have the aromatic flavor of ginger and resembled the normal rhizome in anatomical features. The presence of well-developed oil cells, fibers, starch grains, and curcumin cells was also observed. These microrhizomes were directly planted in the field without any hardening with 80 percent success. Care has to be taken to ensure soil moisture in the first 20 days after planting. The plants derived from the microrhizomes although shorter in size (see Table 4.8), have more tillers per plant. The microrhizomes weighing 2—15g, gave a fresh rhizome yield of 100 to 800 g per plant, and an average yield of 10.5 kg per 3 m2 bed, whereas the control gave a per bed yield of 15 kg (Figure 4.2e—h). The fresh rhizome yield of conventionally propagated plants when 20 to 30 g of seed rhizome was used, was 400 to 1,100 g per plant. In comparison with conventional propagation, the per bed yield was lower in microrhizome-derived plants, but the seed material used was also lesser in the latter. Microrhizomes gave lesser yield per unit area, but very high recovery vis-à-vis the weight of seed material used, and coupled with freedom from disease will make microrhizomes an ideal source of planting material. Microrhizome-derived plants, although slow in initial field establishment, were able to pick up later and grew on par with the control within 4 to 5 months. Microrhizome-derived plants produced more tillers per plant than the micropropagated and the control plants. Field data analysis also indicated that microrhizomes are more stable than micropropagated plants (Nirmal Babu et al., 2003).
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