Assessment of Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) Varieties for Yield and Curcumin Content
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Crop Soils and Environmental Sciences
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Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Currently, more than 80% of turmeric is produced by India and turmeric products are exported to numerous countries. Other Asian countries, including China, Vietnam, Pakistan and Japan also grow significant amounts of turmeric. With the development of medicinal related research, turmeric shows huge potential impacts on cure cancer, prevent Alzheimer’s disease and treat other diseases caused by inflammation. Turmeric is a new crop in Alabama. There is little available published information related to cultivation and planting varieties of turmeric in the United States, however turmeric has been successfully grown on the Auburn University Agronomy Farm since 2006. Researchers and farmers lack information on turmeric varieties that produce high yield and high content of curcumin, which determine the final benefits from this crop. Turmeric varieties were collected from various sources and tested in field trials during 2016 through 2018. Turmeric rhizomes were planted in pots in greenhouse and the sprouted plants were transplanted to field. Published cultivation practices were applied, including irrigation, fertilization and pest control. We harvested the turmeric rhizomes, collected data and made selections based on rhizome yield and curcumin concentration and curcumin yield. A new variety was added in 2017. Four varieties were selected for the last field test in 2018. Finally, recommendations were made as to which turmeric varieties were best based upon intended uses or objectives, such as, high rhizome yield, high curcumin concentration and high curcumin yield.