The host range specificity ofAgrobacterium with five tea cultivars and an unrelated species (Artemisia parviflora) having extreme surface characteristics was evaluated in the present study. The degree ofAgrobacterium infection in the five cultivars of tea was affected by leaf wetness, micro-morphology and surface chemistry. Wettable leaf surfaces of TV1, Upasi-9 andKangra jat showed higher rate (75%) ofAgrobacterium infection compared to Upasi-10 and ST-449, whereas non-wettable leaves ofA. parviflora showed minimum (25%) infection. This indicated that the leaves with glabrous surface having lower 8 (larger surface area covered by water droplet), higher phenol and wax content were more suitable forAgrobacterium infection. Caffeine fraction of tea promotedAgrobacterium infection even in leaves poor in wax (Upasi-10), whereas caffeine-free wax inhibited bothAgrobacterium growth and infection. Thus, study suggests the importance of leaf surface features in influencing theAgrobacterium infection in tea leaf explants. Our study also provides a basis for the screening of a clone/cultivar of a particular species most suitable forAgrobacterium infection the first step inAgrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation.
Volume 45, 2020
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