Федеральное государственное бюджетное научное учреждение
«Всероссийский научно-исследовательский институт
цветоводства и субтропических культур»
(ФГБНУ ВНИИЦиСК)

  (862) 296-40-21
  (862) 246-80-16


Gogoi Aditi Smith, Boruah Jyotish, Barua S.C.

Department of Tea Husbandry & Technology,
Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam,
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Tea (Camellia sinensis), an evergreen plant and one of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world is processed from the young tender leaves of the plant. Tea is drunk in almost every country around the world and has reached a ceremonial status in many places both as a social and medicinal beverage. Tea contains bioactive polyphenols, mainly the catechins, anthocyanins etc. which play an important role in green and black tea quality. Tea leaves has high antioxidant activity which is important for health and has been a potential important raw material for the pharmaceutical industry.

Tea is a potential commercial crop in India which gives a reasonable income in terms of foreign currency. It has been a valuable perennial industrial crop in terms of economy, pharmaceutical materials, environment protection, and also socio-culture aspects of North East India. At present, tea cultivation is largely confined to a few popular high yielding varieties from vegetative propagated materials. Assam produces some of the finest and expensive teas and has its own variety Camellia assamica which have a distinctive aroma, strength, colour and flavor. In order to increase the foreign currency income from tea production, introduction of improved varieties with high production and quality is the need of the hour. Possible solution is to look for planting material that could retain or at least compensate this loss in the yield and quality of tea under the prevailing climatic conditions through making foray into specialty tea market such as pigmented tea. Commercial exploitation of unique pigmented tea clones available in Assam needs extensive evaluation of quality plant material at both yield as well as biochemical level.

The present study has been undertaken to characterize twenty (20) unidentified germplasm exhibiting variations on leaf colour growing in the Experimental Garden for Plantation Crops, Assam Agricultural University, Assam. The field survey and laboratory investigation were done during the period 2017-18. For studying biochemical characters viz. total Anthocyanin, total Antioxidant and total Catechin, the plant material plucked as a standard of two leaves and a bud from the studied germplasm during July to November for 2017 for two plucking seasons. Total anthocyanin was assayed by using the pH differential method. The antioxidant was determined by the method given by Molyneux (2004). Total catechin content in tea samples was estimated by following the method of ISO 14502-2 (ISO, 2005). Post hoc analysis was used to test the significance level and correlation similarity co-efficient matrix was used to analyze the genetic relationship among clones.

It was observed that all the germplasms except THT 027 and THT 034 have higher anthocyanin and antioxidant properties amongst all 20 germplasm. It was also observed that the germplasms having higher anthocyanin content are having low catechin content. An increasing trend of anthocyanin, antioxidant and total catechin content was observed from rain flush to autumn flush in all the germplasms. It was also observed that the germplasms with purple young shoot colour viz, THT 024, THT 032 and THT 039 had the highest anthocyanin content ( 39 mg/l, 43.7 mg/l and 40.56 mg/l respectively). In the present study, the highest total catechins content was observed in THT 027 (12.36%) followed by THT 034 (7.97%) and THT 030 (7.38%). Till now in North East India, no clones have been established as good planting material for green tea manufacturing. So from the present study, the clones with high catechins content can be recommended for further study for developing planting materials for green tea manufacturing.

From the correlation similarity proximity matrix utilizing the biochemical parameters it was observed that the similarity value ranges from 0.118 to 1.000 indicating a high degree of variation amongst the germplasm. The highest similarity value (0.118) was observed between THT 039 and THT 034 whereas lowest similarity value i.e. 1.000 could be found between the germplasm THT 021 and THT 022, THT 025 and THT 028 and between THT 026 and THT 040.

On hierarchical cluster analysis based on dendogram, the germplasms with higher anthocyanin and antioxidant properties THT 024, THT 032 and THT 039 formed discriminated clusters. They can be used for producing the new and unique tea product, “the purple tea” for exploring the export market for specialty tea and can make an alternative for tea drinkers due to its health benefits.

Key words: Tea, Germplasm, Anthocyanin, Antioxidant, Catechin
 

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