COMBINING ABILITIES FOR CATECHINS AND CAFFEINE IN KENYAN TEA (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. KUNTZE)

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Date
2017
Authors
Nelson M. Lubang’a
Samson M. Kamunya
Oliver Kiplagat
John K. Wanyoko
Richard M. Chalo
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Tea Research Institute
Abstract
High catechins and caffeine teas are usually of high black tea quality and also exhibit health benefits. This study was conducted using 16 F1 crosses generated using a 4 x 4 full diallel mating design. The experiment was conducted in the fields at the Tea Research Institute’s, Timbilil and Kangaita research centres, respectively. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized block design with three replicates at both sites. Eight biochemical traits of tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) were studied to estimate the general combining abilities (GCA) and specific combining abilities (SCA) of parents and crosses using diallel mating system. There were significant (p<0.05) differences among the genotypes for all the studied traits. General combining ability (GCA) effect was significant for all the traits except catechin (C) while specific combining ability (SCA) effect was significant for all traits except caffeine (CAFF) and epicatechin gallate (ECG). Maternal effects were significant (p<0.05) for all the traits except C and ECG signifying the importance of the female parent in the inheritance of these traits. Reciprocal effects were significant (p<0.05) for all the traits except ECG. The study revealed that EPK TN14-3 and AHP S15/10 were the best parents in majority of the studied traits. Cross EPK TN14-3 x AHP S15/10 was the best cross for CAFF, inbreds of EPK TN14-3, TRFK 6/8 and TRFCA SFS150 were the best crosses for epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) while inbred AHP S15/10 was the best cross for total catechins (TC). These crosses could be exploited in tea breeding programs when targeting high black and green tea quality. Cultivars TRFK 6/8 and EPK TN14-3 showed significant maternal effects and hence should be included in advanced breeding programmes aimed at enhancing EGCG and epicatechin (EC) respectively. The study demonstrated that quantitative genetic parameters such as additive, non-additive gene and maternal effects have considerable influence on the inheritance of catechins and caffeine, and consequently on tea quality targeting high value diversified tea products.
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Lubang’a, N.M., Kamunya, S.M., Kiplagat, O., Wanyoko, J.K., Chalo, R.M. (2015).
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