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First Report of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Bacterial Wilt Disease in Ethiopia

Author Affiliations

  • 1Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Ambo Agricultural Research Center, Ambo, Ethiopia
  • 2Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Ambo Agricultural Research Center, Ambo, Ethiopia
  • 3Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Ambo Agricultural Research Center, Ambo, Ethiopia

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 4, Issue (4), Pages 5-9, April,8 (2016)


Very recently a severe outbreak of ginger wilt disease was reported by agricultural bureau experts in Ethiopia, particularly in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People and Gambela Regional States. Based on the report, continuous survey was conducted during the 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 to investigate the status of the disease, isolate and identify the causal patho¬gen. During the survey, about 1530 hectares of ginger plantation farms were visited and investigated. Disease incidence was estimated to 80-100%. In the field, disease symptoms like wilting of the lower leaves and a slight yellowing with upward progress of the wilt affecting the younger leaves followed by a complete yellowing and browning of the entire shoot was observed. Shoots become soft and completely rotted and break off easily from the underground rhizome. The entire shoot becomes flaccid and dries. When cross-section cut of a diseased rhizome was placed in a water-filled clear beaker, milky white bacterial streaming was evident. Isolations from collected diseased ginger plant samples on 2,3,5-triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TZC) showed development of a bacterium characterized by fluidal, irregular and creamy white with pinkish red colonies. Using some biochemical tests and Nitrocellulose Membrane-Enzyme Linked Im-munosorbent Assay, all bacterial isolates were identified as Ralstonia solanacearum biovar III indicating that the disease is ginger bacterial wilt disease. Ginger wilt disease by Ralstonia solanacearum is well known as a limiting factor in the production of ginger elsewhere in the world, but this is the first report of an occurrence of ginger bacterial wilt disease in Ethiopia.


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