PIB Daily

PIB Daily – 5th March 2020 – IASToppers

Bacteria to replace chemicals in Tea plants; Endophyticactino bacteria.
By IASToppers
March 05, 2020


Science & Technology

  • Bacteria to replace chemicals in Tea plants

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Science & Technology

Bacteria to replace chemicals in Tea plants

Researchers at Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST) Guwahati, an autonomous institute under Department of Science & Technology have found a bacterium that can replace fertilizers & fungicides in tea plants.

Pathbreaking discovery:

  • The researchers have found significant plant-growth-promoting and antifungal activities of Endophyticactino bacteria associated with Tea plant and related genera, Eurya to find potent plant growth-promoting strains
  •  Application of endophytic Actinobacteria could reduce chemical inputs in Tea plantation.
  • The team led by Dr. Debajit Thakur from IASST isolated 46 endophyticactino bacteria (predominantly free-living microorganisms) found in diverse environments.
  • Out of 46 isolates, 21 isolates inhibited the growth of at least one test fungal phytopathogens and strains SA25 and SA29 exhibited broad-spectrum antifungal activity.

Endophyticactino bacteria:

  • This research finding confirms that endophyticactino bacteria have the potential to exhibit multiple growth-promoting traits such as IAA production, phosphate solubilisation, siderophore production that can positively influence tea growth and production and can hence be used in the management and sustainability of Tea crop.
  • The above mentioned work is publicised in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Frontiers in Microbiology.


  • Tea plays an important role in the Indian economy as a major portion of the tea produced is exported.
  • However, in the recent years, due to higher demand of chemical residue-free made tea by the importing countries has led to a decline in the export of tea.
  • The present study attempts the use of endophyticactino bacteria having plant beneficial characteristics to reduce and replace the use of chemical inputs in the tea industry.
[Ref: PIB]

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