Home » ABST Home » APPLIED BIO-SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY – VOL. 2, NO. 1, (2022) » VOL. 2, NO. 1, (2022) : ARTICLE 3

VOL. 2, NO. 1, (2022) : ARTICLE 3

Evaluation of the Effect of Morphological Traits on Blister Blight Resistance in Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis L.)

Thissa Karunarathna, Mewan Kooragoda, Lahiru Udayanga, Jagathpriya Weerasena, Chandrika N. Perera and Nishantha Edirisinghe


Background: Blister Blight (BB) is a serious leaf disease caused by the fungus Exobasidium vexans Masse, damaging Sri Lankan tea plantations.

Methods: A morphological trait-based analysis was preformed based on 14 descriptors for Camellia sinensis to differentiate BB resistant and BB susceptible individuals in anF1 population generated by a cross between BB resistant and BB susceptible cultivars (TRI 2043xTRI 2023). The Spearman’s correlation analysis, regression modelling, Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) and t-test were applied in the analysis of morphological characteristics of the F1 plants.

Results: Leaf pubescence (SCC= – 0.530), upper leaf surface (SCC= 0.473) and length of mature leaf petiole denoted significant associations with BB disease index (P<0.05). Threshold values of the developed model to screen vulnerability of tea plant to blister blight were 1.5 for both pubescence of tea leaves and upper leaf surface.

Conclusions: Proposed leaf morphology-based thresholds can be successfully applied for preliminary screening of BB susceptibility, prior to further confirmation with more advanced identification techniques.

Keywords: Disease Control, Fungal Infection, Marker Assisted Tea Breeding, Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Plant Inherent Resistance