Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis) Breeding in Sri Lanka

  • M. Trixie K. Gunasekare
Part of the Advanced Topics in Science and Technology in China book series (ATSTC)

Abstract

Tea is one of the main foreign exchange earners of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka ranks as one of the largest exporters of black tea in the world. Sri Lanka is well renowned for its high quality orthodox type (95% of the total production) black tea in the international market. The name “Ceylon tea” or “Sri Lankan tea” has been regarded as a sign of high quality throughout the world for a long time and even today, as reflected by the prices. In order to maintain the position of “Ceylon tea” in the world and to serve the local tea industry, it is imperative to focus on efficient tea crop improvement strategies to develop grower acceptable tea cultivars. Commencement of the tea crop improvement program at the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka dates back to the 19th century. Since then many significant achievements have been made in developing new tea cultivars, with salient milestones over the years. Growers have benefited immensely by using the improved tea cultivars developed by the Institute, though certain improvements have yet to be accomplished using the modifications made in the current breeding program. This chapter highlights significant achievements in the areas of germplasm collection, characterization and evaluation, and their use in the tea breeding program, with prominence given to cost effective complementary strategies adopted in germplasm conservation and the holistic approach adopted in germplasm characterization. Tea breeding strategies, priorities and the significant contribution made to the industry by developing improved tea cultivars over the years are discussed, emphasizing the diverse needs of the growers in multiregional tea growing areas in the country. The chapter also focuses on the application of biotechnological tools for breeding and crop improvement, highlighting the recent advances made in the development of new technologies and their practical applications in facilitating conventional tea crop improvement programs. Overall, the chapter reviews the achievements, challenges and perspectives of tea breeding in Sri Lanka and overviews the future trends, aims and goals of breeding improved cultivars acceptable to the growers. There is a focus on producing improved tea cultivars that thrive better under changing environments to meet the ever-changing demands of the end-users. Future perspectives on the application of new technologies to address key challenges faced by the industry locally and globally, by focusing on the integration of advanced biotechnological tools and decentralized participatory approaches to the current tea breeding program are also discussed.

Keywords

Camellia Sinensis Seed Garden Estate Selection Blister Blight Field Gene Bank 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anandappa TI (1973) Annual Report. Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, pp.38–39.Google Scholar
  2. Anandappa TI (1992) New tea clones. Tea Bulletin, 12: 28–33.Google Scholar
  3. Anandappa TI, Nanayakkara R, Solomon H R (1988) Seed setting ability of some Sri Lankan tea clones and their implication for tea breeding. In: Proceedings of Regional Tea (Scientific) Conference, 19–21 January, 1988, Colombo, Sri Lanka, pp.73–87.Google Scholar
  4. Anon (1976) Comparative character ratings of recommended tea clones. TRI Advisory Circular, November, 1976, C–10.Google Scholar
  5. Anon (1994) New tea clones for experimental planting. TRI Advisory Circulars, December, 1994, C–13.Google Scholar
  6. Anon (2002) The suitability of tea clones for the different regions. TRI Advisory Circular, No — PN1, December, 2002.Google Scholar
  7. Anon (2008) Statistical Pocket Book — Plantation Sector. Ministry of Plantation Industries, Colombo, Sri Lanka.Google Scholar
  8. Ariyaratna HACK, Gunasekare MTK (2006) Genetic base of tea (Camellia sinensis L.) cultivars as revealed by pedigree analysis. Journal of Applied Genetics, 48(2): 125–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ariyaratna HACK, Gunasekare MTK (2008) Pistil related morphological traits reflect genetic diversity of tea in Sri Lanka, In: Proceedings of 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crop Research. 16–17 October, 2008, Colombo, Sri Lanka, pp. 383–388.Google Scholar
  10. Ariyaratna HACK, Kottawa Arachchi JD, Gunasekare MTK (2007) Floral biology and breeding system of tea (Camellia sinensis L.): Implications on the tea breeding program. Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 72: 31–43.Google Scholar
  11. Arulpragasam PV, Lattif R (1986) Studies on the tissue culture of tea. 1. Development of culture methods for multiplication of shoots. Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 55: 44–47.Google Scholar
  12. Arulpragasam PV, Lattif R, Seneviratna P (1988) Studies on the tissue culture of tea: 3 regeneration of plants from cotyledon callus culture. Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 57: 20–23.Google Scholar
  13. Balasuriya J (1999) Shoot population density and shoot weight of clonal tea at different altitudes in Sri Lanka. European Journal of Agronomy, 11: 123–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bombuwala RMTP (2001) Biochemical interactions in shot-hole borer infestation of tea and studies of three microbial polysaccharides. Postgraduate Institute of Science News, 1.Google Scholar
  15. Boukema IW, Hintum JL, Astley D (1997) Creation and composition of the Brassica oleracea core collection. Plant Genetic Resource Newsletter, 111: 29–32.Google Scholar
  16. Central Bank (2007) Annual Report. Central Bank of Sri Lanka.Google Scholar
  17. Cooper M, Podlich DW, Jenson NW, Chapman SC, Hammer GL (1999) Modeling plant breeding programs. Trends in Agronomy, 2: 33–64.Google Scholar
  18. De Alwis KA, Panabokke CR (1972) Handbook of the soils of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Journal of Soil Science Society of Ceylon, 2: 219–230.Google Scholar
  19. Dissanayaka STB, Wijewardena JDH, Samrappuli L (1999) Management of the wet zone soils. In: Mapa RB, Somasiri S, Nagarajah S (eds.) Soils of the Wet Zone of Sri Lanka, pp.160–175.Google Scholar
  20. Frankel, OH (1984) Genetic perspectives of germplasm conservation. In: Arber WK, Limensee K, Peacock WJ, Starlinger P (eds.) Genetic Manipulation: Impact on Man and Society. London: Cambridge University Press, pp.161–170.Google Scholar
  21. Fu YB (2000) Effectiveness of bulking procedures in measuring population pairwise similarity with dominant and co-dominant genetic markers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 100: 1284–1289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Goonatilake WAS, Priyantha C, Mewan KM, Gunasekare MTK (2006) Genetic diversity in tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) as revealed by RAPD-PCR markers. In: Proceedings of International Symposium on the Issues and Challenges of the 21st Century. 4–8 July, 2006, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, p.28.Google Scholar
  23. Gunasekare MTK (2004) Systematic establishment of mother bushes (multiplication plots) of tea cultivars. TRI Update, 9(1): 3–4.Google Scholar
  24. Gunasekare MTK (2006) Adapting crop varieties to environments and clients through decentralized—participatory approach. The Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 2 (1): 34–45.Google Scholar
  25. Gunasekare MTK (2007a) Application of molecular markers to the genetic improvement of Camellia sinensis L. (tea): A review. Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, 82(2): 161–169.Google Scholar
  26. Gunasekare MTK (2007b) Current status and future directions in breeding tea. In: Gunasena HPM, Girihagama PC (eds.) Current Status and Future Directions of Plant Breeding Research in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy, pp.111–124.Google Scholar
  27. Gunasekare MTK (2007c) Section on plant breeding. Tea Research Institute Technical Report, 2007.Google Scholar
  28. Gunasekare MTK (2008) New series of improved tea cultivars: the potential. In: Proceedings of Experiments and Extension Forum of Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, (217): 25–29.Google Scholar
  29. Gunasekare MTK, Evans PK (1998) Isolation of protoplasts from leaf tissue of tea (Camellia sinensis L.): Factors affecting protoplast yield and viability. Tropical Agricultural Research, 10: 1–11.Google Scholar
  30. Gunasekare MTK, Evans PK (2000a) In vitro rooting of microshoots of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 66 (1/2): 5–15.Google Scholar
  31. Gunasekare MTK, Evans PK (2000b) In vitro shoot organogenesis in callus derived from stem tissue of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 66 (1/2): 16–26.Google Scholar
  32. Gunasekare MTK, Evans PK (2001) Isolation and culture of mesophyll protoplasts from tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Plant Tissue Culture, 11(1): 55–64.Google Scholar
  33. Gunasekare MTK, Ranathunga MAB (2003) Polyploidy in tea (Camellia sinensis L.) and its application in tea breeding: A review. Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 68(2): 14–26.Google Scholar
  34. Gunasekare MTK, Kumara JBDAP (2005) Tea genetic resources in Sri Lanka: Genetic resources originating from estate selections. Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 70(2): 69–81.Google Scholar
  35. Gunasekare MTK, Pieris TUS (2006) Phenotypic variation in germplasm accessions of tea (Camellia sinensis L.) in Sri Lanka. Plant Genetic Resource Newsletter (Rome), 146: 39–42.Google Scholar
  36. Gunasekare MTK, Anandappa TI (2008) Planting materials. In: Zoysa AKN (eds.) Handbook on Tea. Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka, pp.34–49.Google Scholar
  37. Gunasekare MTK, Arachchi JDK, Mudalige AK, Peiris TUS (2001) Morphological diversity of tea (Camellia sinensis L.) genotypes in Sri Lanka. In: Proceedings of 57th Annual Session of Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS). Part I, p.83.Google Scholar
  38. Gunasekare MTK, Ratnayake M, Ratnagoda BA (2003) Tea reserves: Preserving the old seedling tea. TRI Update, 8(1): 5–6.Google Scholar
  39. Gunasekare MTK, Piyasundara JHN, Upali PD (2004) Improved seed progenies of tea (Camellia sinensis L.): A source of planting material, In: Zoysa AKN, Mohamed MTZ (eds.) Plantation Crop Research-Current Trends and Future Challenges. The Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, pp.103–108.Google Scholar
  40. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) (1997) Descriptors for Tea (Camellia sinensis)., Rome, Italy.Google Scholar
  41. International Tea Committee (ITC) (2009, 2010) Annual Bulletin of Statistics. London.Google Scholar
  42. Kehl FH (1950) Vegetative propagation of tea by nodal cuttings. Tea Quarterly, 21: 3–17.Google Scholar
  43. Kulasegaram S (1978) Progress in tea breeding. Tropical Agriculture Research series, (11): 151–160.Google Scholar
  44. Kulasekera KML, Gunasekare MTK, De Costa WAJM (2004) Effects of plant factors on in vitro seed germination of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Proceeding of Peradeniya University Research Session, Sri Lanka, 9(10): 12.Google Scholar
  45. Kumar NS, Hewavitharanage P, Adikaram NKB (1995) Attack on tea by Xyleborus fornicatus: inhibition of the symbiotic, Monacrosporium ambrosium, by caffeine. Phytochemistry, 40: 1113–1116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kumara DAP, Ariyarathna HACK, Ratnayake M, Kottawa Archchi JD, Gunasekare MTK (2008) Assessment of flowering synchrony in tea (Camellia sinensis L.) germplasm accessions in Sri Lanka: Implications to tea breeding program. In: Proceedings of National Symposium 2008. 23–24 October, 2008, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka, p.34.Google Scholar
  47. Liyanage AC, Fernando WMU, Pathirana KPSK (1999) Determination of genetic diversity of tea cultivars in Sri Lanka using isozyme polymorphisms. Report on FAO/IAEA seminar, Philippines, 1999, pp.85–87.Google Scholar
  48. Mewan KM, Liyanage AC, Jayamanne E, Gunasekare MTK, Karunanayake E (2005) Studying genetic relationship among tea (Camellia sinensis L.) cultivars in Sri Lanka using RAPD markers. Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 70(1): 42–53.Google Scholar
  49. Mewan KM, Saha MC, Konstatin C, Pang Y, Abeysinghe ISB, Dixon RA (2007) Construction of an EST-SSR based saturated genetic linkage map of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on O-Cha (tea) Culture and Science. 2–4 November, 2007, Shizuoka, Japan, p.52.Google Scholar
  50. Panabokke CR, Kannangara CR (1975) The identification and demarcation of the agro-ecological regions of Sri Lanka. In: Proceedings of Annual Sessions. Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, 31: 49.Google Scholar
  51. Park YG, Kaundun SS, Zhyvoloup A (2002) Use of bulked genomic DNA-based RAPD methodology to asses the genetic diversity among abandoned Korean tea plantations. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 49: 159–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Piyasundara JHN (2008) Systematic characterization of tea (Camellia sinensis L.) germplasm using morphological descriptors. Master of Philosophy Thesis, Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.Google Scholar
  53. Piyasundara JHN, Gunasekare MTK (2008) Morphological comparison of tea (Camellia sinensis L.) germplasm originating from old seedling tea populations in different agro-ecological regions in Sri Lanka, In: Proceeding of National Symposium 2008. 23–24 October, 2008, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka, p.30.Google Scholar
  54. Piyasundara JHN, Upali PD, Gunasekare MTK (2003) Preliminary yield evaluation of improved seed tea cultivars. Tea Bulletin, 18: 15–19.Google Scholar
  55. Piyasundara JHN, Gunasekare MTK, Pieris TUS, Wickramasinghe IP (2006) Phenotypic diversity of Sri Lankan tea (Camellia sinensis L.) germplasm based on morphological descriptors. Tropical Agricultural Research, 18: 237–243Google Scholar
  56. Piyasundara JHN, Gunasekare MTK, Wickramasinghe (2008) Characterization of tea germplasm in Sri Lanka using morphological descriptors. Proceedings of 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crop Research. Colombo, Sri Lanka, 16–17 October, 2008, pp.389–395.Google Scholar
  57. Punyasiri PAN, Abeysinghe ISB, Kumar V (2005) Preformed and induced chemical resistance of tea leaf against Exobasidium vexans infection. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 31: 1315–1323.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Punyawardena BVR, Bandara TMJ, Munasinghe MAK, Jayaratna Banda N (2003) Agro-ecological regions in Sri Lanka. Map of Sri Lanka.Google Scholar
  59. Ramaswamy MS (1960) Copper in Ceylon tea. Tea Quarterly, 31: 76–81.Google Scholar
  60. Ranathunga MAB, Gunasekare MTK (2003) A comparative assessment of some morphological and anatomical attributes to identify markers for screening polyploidy genotypes of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 68(1): 12–19.Google Scholar
  61. Ranathunga MAB, Gunasekare MTK (2008a) Genotype × environment interaction and yield stability of tea cultivars in Sri Lanka. In: Proceedings of National Symposium 2008. 23–24 October, 2008, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka, p.14.Google Scholar
  62. Ranathunga MAB, Gunasekare MTK (2008b) Assembling of preliminary core collection of tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) genetic resources in Sri Lanka. Plant Genetic Resource Newsletter (Rome), 155: 41–45.Google Scholar
  63. Ranathunga MAB, Piyasundara JHN, Paskarathevan R, Gunasekare MTK (2004) An alternative criterion for selecting high yielding cultivars of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). In: Proceedings of the 60th Annual Session of Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, p.49.Google Scholar
  64. Ranathunga MAB, Gunasekare MTK, Ratnayaka M (2008) Morphological attributes for prediction of quality of made tea during early selection stages of tea breeding. In: Proceedings of 2nd Symposium on Plantation Crop Research. 16–17 October, 2008, Colombo, Sri Lanka, pp.82–90.Google Scholar
  65. Richards AV (1965) The origin of the popular TRI clones. Tea Quarterly, 36: 183–187.Google Scholar
  66. Richards AV (1966) The breeding, selection and propagation of tea. Tea Quarterly, 37: 154–160.Google Scholar
  67. Richards AV (1967) Some observations on the performances of the popular TRI and estate clones. Tea Quarterly, 38: 245–248.Google Scholar
  68. Richards AV, Sebastiampillai AR (1964) A note on the identification of some TRI clones. Tea Quarterly, 35: 168.Google Scholar
  69. Sarathchandra TM, Pieris R (2001) Induction of mutations in tea (Camellia sinensis L.). In: Proceeding of the 57th Annual Session of Sri Lanka Association of the Advancement of Science. Part I, p.44.Google Scholar
  70. Sarathchandra TM, Upali PD, Wijewardena RGA (1988) Somatic embryogenesis in stem and leaf callus culture. Sri Lanka Journal of Tea science, 57: 50–54.Google Scholar
  71. Sarathchandra TM, Sarathchandra K, Hiriburegama K (1997) Root formation on in vitro micropropagated shoots of tea. Sri Lanka Journal of Tea science, 65: 5–10.Google Scholar
  72. Sebasthiampillai AR (1970) A simple technique for the induction of polyploids in tea. Tea Quarterly, 46: 12–15.Google Scholar
  73. Seran TH, Hiriburegama K, Gunasekare MTK (2005) Encapsulation of embryonic axes of Camellia sinensis L. (tea) and subsequent in vitro germination. Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, 80(1): 154–158.Google Scholar
  74. Seran TH, Hiriburegama K, Gunasekare MTK (2006a) Short-term storage of encapsulated zygotic embryonic axes of tea at low temperature. Tropical Agricultural Research, 18: 358–366.Google Scholar
  75. Seran TH, Hiriburegama K, Gunasekare MTK (2006b) Direct somatic embryogenesis from explants obtained from in vitro germinated embryonic axes of Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze. Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, 81(5): 883–890.Google Scholar
  76. Seran TH, Hiriburegama K, Gunasekare MTK (2006c) Somatic embryogenesis from embryogenic leaf callus of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Tropical Agricultural Research, 18: 367–375.Google Scholar
  77. Seran TH, Hiriburegama K, Gunasekare MTK (2007a) Production of cotyledontype somatic embryos directly from immature cotyledonary explants of Camellia sinensis L. Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, 82: 119–125.Google Scholar
  78. Seran TH, Gunasekare MTK, Hirimburegama K (2007b) Germination and subsequent plant development of in vitro cultured zygotic embryos and embryonic axes in comparison to conventional seed propagation of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 71(2): 27–39.Google Scholar
  79. Singh ID, Gunasekare MTK (2000) Conservation of tea genetic resources. TRI Update, 5(1): 1–2.Google Scholar
  80. Singh ID, Shanmugarajah V, Gunasekare MTK, Ratnayake M, Sritharan U, Gunadasa SW (2003) Tea breeding in Sri Lanka (Chapter 3). In: Modder WWD (eds.) Twentieth Century Tea Research in Sri Lanka. The Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, pp.37–46.Google Scholar
  81. Sivapalan P (1986) A strategy to adopt the appropriate genetic diversity for planting clonal tea. Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 55(2): 53–57.Google Scholar
  82. Sundaravathany A, Kumara AP, Gunasekare MTK (2005) Characterization of tea germplasm using reproductive traits. Journal of Jaffna Science Association, 12: 19.Google Scholar
  83. Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka (2008) Handbook on Tea. Talawakelle: Sri Lanka.Google Scholar
  84. Thirukkumaren G, Gunasekare MTK (2001) Use of pollen morphology and physiology to differentiate ploidy levels of tea clones. Journal of Jaffna Science Association, 9(1): 6–7.Google Scholar
  85. Tubbs FR (1939) The improvement of planting material. Tea Quarterly, 11: 38–49.Google Scholar
  86. Tubbs FR (1946) Tea selection — the present position. Tea Quarterly, 17: 59–65.Google Scholar
  87. Visser T (1958) The position of clonal selection in Ceylon. Tea Quarterly, 29: 154–159.Google Scholar
  88. Walgama RS, Gunasekare MTK, Jayathilake MM, Kottawaarchchi JD, Liyanage DD (2008) Evaluation of tea (Camellia sinensis L.) germplasm for host-plant resistance to shot-hole borer, Xyleborus fornicatus Eichh (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Sri Lanka Journal of Tea Science, 73: 29–38.Google Scholar
  89. Wickramaratne MRT (1981a) Variations in some leaf characteristics in tea (Camellia sinensis L.) and their use in the identification of clones. Tea Quarterly, 50: 183–198.Google Scholar
  90. Wickramaratne MRT (1981b) Genotype-environment interactions in tea (Camellia sinensis L.) and their implication in tea breeding and selection. Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 96: 471–478.Google Scholar
  91. Wijeratne MA (2004) Tea industry in Sri Lanka. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on O-Cha (tea) Culture and Science. 4–6 November, 2004, Japan, Shizuoka, pp.51–54.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Zhejiang University Press, Hangzhou and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Trixie K. Gunasekare
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Breeding DivisionTea Research Institute of Sri LankaTalawakelleSri Lanka

Personalised recommendations