GUWAHATI, July 20 - IIT Guwahati scholars and researchers here are of the opinion that there should be a serious attempt at addressing the ignorance on the part of the tea planters and policymakers on the changes taking place in the tea varieties in terms of their contents. Tea industry, or, the research and development (R&D) institutes should implement plant tissue culture methods to generate the pure breed lines by regeneration of plants from in vitro pollen culture, or, egg cell culture on nutrient media to overcome the present situation of the tea plants gradually losing their original characteristics in plantations.
Talking to this correspondent, Prof Rakhi Chaturvedi of the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Guwahati, said that tea plants grown in plantations are all cross breeds now. The impure varieties � the heterozygous diploid � are flourishing more in the tea plantations nowadays.
Because, said the IIT Professor, tea plants are strictly cross-pollinating in nature and accepts the pollens from other species for fertilisation rather than their own pollens. Consequently, more than 325 sub-species or varieties of tea plants have now emerged, she said. The IIT Professor is doing research on this phenomenon for the past about a decade.
She asserted that with the above method, the plants produced will be haploid (n) � the pure one � and they can be diploidized by mutagenic treatment to produce double haploids, or, homozygous diploids (pure line).
Once this pure breed lines are developed, their numbers can be increased by in vitro nodal segment cultures to maintain the purity of characters and for large scale multiplication of plants for commercial purpose, irrespective of the seasons or the regions, she said.