Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) is the second most widely cultivated spice in Ethiopia, next to chilies. Recently, there has been huge demand for clean planting material of improved ginger cultivars, though it is difficult to meet the demand of planting materials using the conventional propagation techniques due to production inefficiency and disease transmission. Therefore, the present study was carried out with the objective of assessing the potential of axillary buds and shoot tips as explant sources and determination of suitable growth regulators for in vitro propagation of two ginger cultivars. Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with four levels of benzyl adenine (BA) and kinetin was used for shoot multiplication in combination with two explant sources. A highly significant difference (p<0.0001) was observed between explant sources and among growth regulators for shoot multiplication. From this study, it was found that shoot tip explants on 2 mgl-1 BA and 1 mgl-1 kinetin was found to be better than other explant-media combinations which gave an average of 7 shoots per explant within six weeks of culture. Consecutively, the plantlets developed an average of 8.75 roots within four weeks of culture period and performed well in acclimatization and subsequently in the field.
Key words: Ginger, Zingiber officinale Rosc., growth regulators, explants, micropropagation.
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