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Environmental and cultural factors affecting the production of myoga (Zingiber mioga Roscoe) in Australia


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Stirling, Kristen Joy 2004 , 'Environmental and cultural factors affecting the production of myoga (Zingiber mioga Roscoe) in Australia', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Myoga (Zingiber mioga Roscoe) is a new vegetable crop in Australia, cultivated for
its edible flower buds. Originating from Japan, the crop was introduced into Australia
with the expectation that it could be produced over the summer months, with flower
buds then exported to Japan, where they retail at a high out-of-season price. fudustry
has identified a number of challenges to the successful commercialisation of this crop
in Australia. The majority of these relate to cultural aspects ofmyoga production and
manipulation of the growing environment to control crop performance, in particular,
extension of harvest season. A lack of knowledge of the effect of environmental
factors on the production of myoga flower buds has hampered initial efforts to
successfully cultivate this crop in the Australia.
Photoperiod was identified as a potentially important environmental factor affecting
the production of myoga flower buds. A series of trials conducted within controlled
environment cabinets determined that myoga had dual photoperiod requirements for
successful flower bud production, with flower bud initiation having a quantitative
short day requirement while flower bud development had a qualitative long day
requirement. Differences in the critical daylength required for successful flower bud
development in cultivar S and I myoga plants was identified as the reason why
cultivar I plants senesced prematurely when field cultivated in Southern Australia.
The critical daylength for flower bud development in cultivar S plants was
determined to be approximately 13 hours, while cultivar I plants required a daylength
closer to 14 hours. Low night temperatures were observed to interact with
photoperiod, resulting in successful flower bud development in daylength conditions
that at higher night temperatures would have been too short. From the results of these
trials, photoperiod was deemed to be a crucial determinant of the location of future
production sites and the timing of production seasons.
Environmental factors affecting general plant growth and development were also
deemed important areas of research, in particular the tolerance of myoga plants to strong light conditions. There have been reports of variations in the shade
requirement of myoga plants grown in different climatic regions. This led to the
hypothesis that these plants were susceptible to cold induced photoinhibition of
photosynthesis. This was confirmed during a number of trials which used chlorophyll
fluorescence techniques to investigate the function of photosynthetic systems within
myoga plants when placed into stressful conditions. Exposure ofmyoga to light
intensities greater than 750 µmol m-2
s-1 resulted in the engagement of photoprotective
mechanisms to prevent photodamage occurring. Sensitivity to low temperatures
meant that these plants became photoinhibited at far lower light intensities and the
engagement of photoprotective mechanisms was sustained, when plants were exposed
to low temperatures in conjunction with light. The acclimation of these plants to low
temperature and the successful engagement of photoprotective systems within the
photosystem indicate that myoga can cope with strong light intensities over a shortterm
period. However exposure to strong light intensities at warm temperatures or
moderate light intensities at low temperatures, for an extended period of time, is
likely to result in permanent photodamage occurring.
Additional cultural factors affecting commercial production of myoga flower buds
were identified during the first two years of cultivation. At Albion Park, NSW it was
determined that myoga plantings remaining in the ground for longer than one year did
not require artificial chilling, and with correct management of vegetation could
produce higher flower bud yields than first year plants. Production trials conducted in
Rockhampton, QLD investigated the effect of daylength and temperature on flower
bud production, and confirmed that myoga was well suited to cultivation in a subtropical
environment provided due consideration was given to photoperiod and the
potential need for artificial chilling.
Recommendations based on the above research findings have already been adopted
into commercial production protocols and as such many of the challenges to myoga
production in Australia have now been successfully resolved.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Stirling, Kristen Joy
Keywords: Zingiber, Ginger, Ginger industry, Ginger industry
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2004 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references

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