Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) is an important commercial crop that is planted in 60,000 to 70,000 ha every year in Shandong Province, China. In 2010, rotted rhizomes of cultivar Laiwu Big Ginger were reported on 20 ha in Anqiu, Shandong Province, and yield losses of up to 70% were reported. The aboveground symptoms were the water-conducting portion of symptomatic rhizomes was discolored brown and had a black dry rot of the cortex tissues (3). Thirty symptomatic rhizomes were sampled from six fields in six farms. Komada's method (1) was used to isolate the pathogen. Ten pieces from each rhizome were washed with sterile distilled water and plated on Komada selective medium at 25°C. White fungal colonies turned orchid after 7 days of incubation. Two types of asexual spores were associated with the colonies: microconidia and macroconidia. The microconidia were the most abundantly produced spores and were oval, elliptical or kidney shaped, and produced on aerial mycelia. Macroconidia had three to five cells and gradually pointed or curved edges, varied in size from 3 to 5 × 19 to 36 μm. The rDNA of the internal transcribed spacer regions 1 and 2 and the 5.8S gene in five isolates were amplified using primers ITS1 and ITS4, and the nucleotide sequence was the same as isolate no. 3, which was deposited in GenBank (Accession No. KC594035). A BLAST search showed 99% identity with the strain Z9 of Fusarium oxysporum (EF611088). Pathogenicity tests of five isolates were carried out in a greenhouse and the pathogenicity test of isolate no. 3 was selected for the method description. Ten 1-month-old ginger plants (cv. Laiwu Big Ginger) were grown in plastic pots (diameter 20 cm) with sandy soil and inoculated. Ten plants were used as untreated controls. Isolate no. 3 was grown on casein hydrolysate medium (4) for 72 h and the spores were harvested in sterile distilled water. Aqueous spore suspensions of isolate no. 3 were adjusted with deionized water to 1 × 108 CFU/ml as the inoculum. The prepared inoculum was injected with a syringe into the soil around the rhizome of ginger plants. Inoculated plants were placed in the greenhouse at 24 to 26°C and assessed for rhizome rot on the 14th day after inoculation. Disease severity was recorded based on a scale in which – = no symptoms; 1 = small lesions on seedlings, no rot; 2 = seedling rot; and 3 = plant dead. Similar rhizome rot symptoms were observed after inoculation. The inoculated isolate was re-isolated from diseased rhizomes, confirming its pathogenicity. To our knowledge, this is the first report of rhizome rot of ginger caused by F. oxysporum in China. Rhizome rot of ginger caused by Fusarium spp. is well known in Asian countries such as India (2).
References: (1) H. Komada. Rev. Plant Prot. Res. 8:114, 1975. (2) V. Shanmugam et al. Biol Control. 66:1, 2013. (3) E. E. Trujillo. Diseases of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in Hawaii, Circular 62, Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Hawaii, December, 1964. (4) G. E. Wessman. Appl. Microbiol. 13:426, 1965.
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