Plant Breeding

Last updated on August 11th, 2020 at 05:05 pm

The division engaged in developing improved cultivars/ planting materials to cope with the complex requirements determined by agro-ecology, biotic and abiotic stresses and consumer preferences of the end-product based on quality in the international market. In achieving the above objectives current research and development activities are being aimed at following areas:

Key Research Areas

  • To develop high yielding tea cultivars incorporated with other desirable characteristics that are suitable for various tea growing agro-ecologies in Sri Lanka.
  • To develop cultivars suitable for producing high value diversified tea products & specialty teas
  • Maintenance of national tea germplasm and activities related to germplasm conservation, characterization and evaluation for rational utilization of germplasm in tea crop improvement program.
  • Development of plant cell and tissue culture techniques to supplement the conventional tea breeding program.
  • Use of cutting edge genomics/molecular biology technologies to accelerate cultivar development program
  • To develop improved seeds as an alternative planting material for marginal tea growing areas

Major Achievements

  • An economically viable vegetative propagation method was discovered and established for the first time in tea in 1950s.
  • Release of seminal series of TRI 2000, 3000 and 4000 cultivars aiming to increase productivity of tea plantations
  • Successful integration of micropropagation technique into the conventional breeding program authenticating its practical application to reduce the time taken to develop new cultivars by 6 years
  • Release of four TRI 5000 series cultivars with high productivity and quality for up country tea growing region
  • Establishment of new polyclonal seed gardens with new parental combinations to cater the demand for improved seeds
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