DIVERSITY OF ZINGIBERACEAE IN KUANTAN, PAHANG

INTRODUCTION

 

The
Ginger family or Zingiberaceae is very well known all over the world. Zingiberaceae
has roughly 53 genera and over 1200 species worldwide (Byngand et al, 2016). It
is easily recognizable as a flowering plant with distinct aromas and rhizome
roots. This perennial herb features simple blades of slightly thick, fleshy
leaves on erect pseudostem usually green in colour.

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To locate members of Zingiberaceae family, one must
know that the plant thrives warm and sunny areas with damp soil conditions.
Thus, as a tropical plant, it can be found primarily in regions along the
equator with environments of adequate humidity and temperature.

The plant is widely used as spices in cooking,
herbal medicines, and cosmetics. The Indians and ancient Chinese have practice
the use of ginger root to treat various common ailments since olden times. In
fact, ginger has been traded throughout history longer than most other spices
due to its medicinal merits. Common uses of Zingiberaceae in the medicine
include  relieving flatulence or stomach
ache, post-natal healthcare, treatment for muscle sprains and joint pains and
universal health drink. Basically, the plant is used extensively in modern
medicine and pharmacology as well as traditional medicine.

Although members of this family are commonly used in
various fields, it is quite difficult to recognize and differentiate between
species of Zingiberaceae as they all bear multiple resemblance with each other
especially without basic expertise and knowledge in taxonomy and ginger
morphological description. For example, turmeric, common ginger and galangal
are widely used in Malay delicacies but to the uninformed eyes, the rhizomes of
these species look basically similar and the plants all have large green leaves
without much distinction.

This study is carried out to examine and evaluate
the distribution of Zingiberaceae family particularly in district of Kuantan,
Pahang. As a region with various geographical feature, the district of Kuantan
spanning from 2960 km2  we can
learn a lot about the ginger family inhabiting this vast area and focus on
multiple ecologically variable locations of ginger habitat.

This is crucial for better understanding of
Zingiberaceae distribution and goes hand in hand to the efforts for recognizing
key identification features of Zingiberaceae family. From this study, there is
a possibility to unlock more potential of Zingiberaceae particularly in the
medicinal field. Previous record pertaining Zingiberaceae are mostly outdated
thus also support the need for updated information on distribution of this
family.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER
TWO

LITERATURE
REVIEW

2.1                
ZINGIBERACEAE

2.2                
Zingiberaceae
family

Zingiberaceae
is a well-known plant with roughly 53 genera and over 1200 species worldwide (Byngand
et al, 2016) and about less than a hundred species in Malaysia. It is a family
of flowering plants of aromatic perennial herbs with creeping horizontal or
tuberous rhizomes distributed throughout tropical Africa, Asia, and the
Americas. Members of the family are small to large herbaceous plants with
distichous leaves with basal sheaths that overlap to form a pseudostem (Sharma,
2009). The plants are either self-supporting or epiphytic (Ibrahim, 1992).
Flowers are hermaphroditic, usually strongly zygomorphic, in determinate cymose
inflorescences, and subtended by conspicuous, spirally arranged bracts. The
perianth is composed of two whorls, a fused tubular calyx, and a tubular
corolla with one lobe larger than the other two. Flowers typically have two of
their stamenoids (sterile stamens) fused to form a petaloid lip, and have only
one fertile stamen. The ovary is inferior and topped by two nectaries, the
stigma is funnel-shaped. The fruits are capsular, fleshy or dry, dehiscent or
indehiscent, sometimes berrylike. Seed may be many or few, arilate, aril, often
lobed or lacerate (Jatoi et al, 2007). Plants of the Zingiberaceae family
mainly reproduce asexually through underground rhizomes.

 

 

Kingdom         :           Plantae

Phylum                        :           Tracheophyta

Class                            :           Liliopsida

Order                           :           Zingiberales

Family                         :           Zingiberaceae

Genus                          :           Zingiber 

Species                        :           officinale

 

2.2.1          
GENERA

Zingiberaceae
consist of approximately 50 genus (Maarten et al, 2016) distributed worldwide
but only 18 genera have been recorded in Peninsular Malaysia (Ibrahim et al,
2007) (Larsen
et al., 1999)*. Below are some common and abundant genera of Zingiberaceae in
Malaysia.

 

2.2.1.1    
Alpinia

ALPINIA
Roxburgh

Rhizomes
creeping, thick. Pseudostems many, well developed, rarely absent. Leaves many,leaf
blade oblong or lanceolate. Inflorescence a terminal panicle, raceme, or spike,
dense or lax. Calyx usually tubular. Corolla central lobe. Ovary usually
3-loculed and placentation axile. Stigma usually well expanded. Capsule usually
globose, dry or fleshy, indehiscent or irregularly dehiscent. Seeds numerous. (Delin
et al, 2000)

2.2.1.2    
Amomum

AMOMUM
Roxburgh

Rhizomes
widely creeping. Pseudostems elongate. Leaf sheath long, leaf blade usually
oblong-lanceolate, oblong, or linear. Inflorescence arising from rhizomes, a
densely flowered spike or spikelike raceme or panicle. Calyx usually tubular. Corolla
tube cylindric. Filament well developed. Ovary 3-loculed; ovules many per
locule, superposed. Style filiform; stigma usually funnelform, small, ciliate.
Seeds oblong or many angled. (Delin et al, 2000)

2.2.1.3    
Etlingera

ETLINGERA
Giseke

Rhizomes
creeping. Pseudostems robust. Leaves petiolate, lanceolate, large.
Inflorescence arising from rhizomes. Calyx tubular. Corolla tube equaling or
longer than calyx. Lateral staminodes absent. Labellum tongue-shaped. Stamen
shorter than labellum. Ovary 3-loculed; ovules numerous per locule. Capsule
fleshy, indehiscent, smooth, longitudinally ridged, or with obtuse warts in
rows. (Delin et al, 2000)

2.2.1.4    
Zingiber

ZINGIBER
Miller

Rhizomes
branched, tuberous, aromatic. Pseudostems erect, leafy. Leaves distichous petiole
swollen, leaf blade oblong, lanceolate, or linear. Inflorescences conical,
arising from rhizomes on peduncle. Calyx tubular. Corolla tube slender.
Filament short. Ovary 3-loculed; placentation axile. Style slender, stigma not
expanded. Capsule dehiscent loculicidally or irregularly. Seeds black. (Delin
et al, 2000)

 

 

2.2.2       
Ecology
and Habitat

Zingiberaceae
are scattered over a wide belt of tropical and subtropical regions, primarily
in tropical Asia where the regions long history of a stable, damp and hot
climate together with its wide array of habitats probably favored the
development and differentiation of these plants. (Jatoi et al, 2007). They not
only compromise a prominent fraction of the undergrowth of tropical rain and
monsoon forest but are also sometimes found in secondary forest.

 

 

 

2.2.3       
Geographical
distribution

Malaysia
is among one of the countries with the greatest number of Zingiberaceae species
in South East Asia besides Thailand. Of 60% of tropical rainforest covering
Malaysia, over 320 species of 21 genera of Zingiberaceae have been
discovered.(Ibrahim, 2007) albeit there are disputes to the exact number of
genera of Zingiberaceae found in Malaysia due to the persistent process of
evolution of the plant. 

2.2.4       
Uses

The
Zingiberaceae species have been utilized for various purposes worldwide and
have been a part of the Asian culture since time immemorial. In Malaysia, Zingiberaceae
species are used as spice, condiment, food flavour, vegetable, beverage,
medicine, ornamental as well as in rituals associated with beliefs, customs and
traditions. Of late some cultivated gingers are exploited for the cosmeceutical,
neutraceutical and pharmaceutical industry.

Between 16-20 % of the Peninsular Malaysian gingers
are edible and these are consumed fresh, cooked, pickled or boiled. The plant
parts consumed are mainly rhizomes but the inflorescences, fruits, seeds, young
shoots and rarely leaves are also utilized. 
(Ibrahim, 2007). Some species of Zingiberaceae are also used in
post-natal healthcare and post-partum medicine as it it believed to  help the process of internal healing in
confinement period of new mothers

            Kumar (2013) stated  that the plants are characterized by the
presence of volatile oils and oleoresins of export value. In general, the
rhizomes and fruits are aromatic, tonic and stimulant. In Ayurvedic medicine, some
are used as food as they contain starch in large quantities while others yield
an astringent and diaphoretic juice.

More recent studies into pharmacological potential
of Zingiberaceae revealed anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties obtained from
ginger extracts (Wohlmuth, 2008)  which
is a spectacular finding in the ultimate search for the cure to cancer.

2.3       Recent
collection and checklist of (Malaysia, Pahang and Kuantan)

There
are approximately 160 species of Zingiberaceae belonging to 18

genera
in Peninsular Malaysia. (Ibrahim, 2007). In Peninsular Malaysia, there

are
roughly 160 species of Zingiberaceae belonging to 18 genera (Larsen

et
al., 1999).

Table
3.4

Regional
checklist of genera from Zingiberaceae collection

 

Checklist

Region

Peninsular
Malaysia

Pahang

Kuantan

Ibrahim
(2007)

14

Turner
(1997)

18

14

Holttum
(1950)

3

Larsen
(1999)

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER
THREE

METHODOLOGY

3.1         Sampling
site

The
research is conducted in selected regions (subdistrict) in Kuantan, Pahang,
Malaysia. The collection of plant samples are focused in the Kuantan district
which consist of a total of 6 subdistricts or mukims (Beserah, Kuala Kuantan,
Penor, Sungai Karang, Ulu Kuantan and Ulu Lepar). The collection is limited to
3 trails per mukim or subdistrict. Selected subdistricts in this study include
and are confined to Kuala Kuantan, Ulu Kuantan and Sungai Karang.

3.2  Plant Collection

For
each area of sampling covering a 5km radius, a total of at least 5 plants
(duplicates) of each species will be taken. 2 of them will be replanted for
germplasm establishment and another 3 is preserved in herbarium. During
collection, vital information including coordinate, sampling date and collector
will be taken.

3.2.1 Parts of Plants To Be
Collected

The
plants collected must fulfill the requirement of having stems, leaves, flower
and fruit with no or minimal damage.

3.2.2 Size of Plant

The
size of plants specimen to be collected must be within 42cm of height and 28cm
of width to fit onto the mounting board / herbarium sheet.

3.2.4 Recording of Data

Vital
data to be collected during sampling includes location (latitude and
longitude), habitat condition and morphological description of plant.

3.3         Herbarium
preparation

3.3.1 Pressing

The
first step after collection of sample is pressing them between cardboards and
presser. Before it is pressed, any soil or dirt is removed from the sample to
prevent contamination which may damage the sample during long-term storage. All
the parts of specimen is arranged neatly flat on the cardboard, showing leaves
of both surfaces (abaxial and adaxial surface) and be made sure that none of
them is folded. An exception is for large leaves that cannot fit properly thus
need to be folded. Fleshy parts like fruits are kept in air-tight sealed jars
containing Copenhagen solution (70% ethanol). The pressed specimen is then
stacked and tied firmly.

Zingiberaceae
leaves are known to be fleshy and thus crinkle easily making the pressing
process harder thus the sample is treated with methylated spirit (distilled
water and  95% ethanol 1:1) to soften
them. The ready to be dried sample is put in a plastic bag, together with the
methylated spirit and sealed tightly for a week. After 7 days, the samples will
be ready for drying process. The samples were arranged between newspapers and
strips of cardboard boxes for ventilations so that water can evaporate easily
during drying process.

 

3.3.2 Drying

The
pressed specimen will be placed in oven for drying at 55oC for three
weeks or until fully dried. This differs from conventional method as
Zingiberaceae species are fleshy and has relatively higher water content thus
the need for longer drying time

 

3.3.3 Mounting

After
the specimen have been dried, it must be mounted on a herbarium sheet and fixed
on by sewing or gluing. This is done to make sure no part is damaged or missing
for long term storage. The mounted
specimen is attached with proper label including the author name, location
collected, date established, scientific and common name

 

3.4 Data collection

The
plants collected will have to be taken with proper details including location
as well as visual observation with several parameters. Below are the suggested
parameters to be recorded during collection. The parameters below are among the
ones that will be selected from a total of 50 suggested parameters.