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Reproductive phenology of tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) cultivars in Sri Lanka

Authors:

J. H. N. Piyasundara ,

Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, LK
About J. H. N.
Plant Breeding Division
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I. P. Wickramasinghe,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About I. P.
Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture
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M. T. K. Gunesekara,

Ministry of Primary Industries, Colombo, LK
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M. A. Wijeratne,

Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Thalawakale, LK
About M. A.
Agronomy Division
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S. A. C. N. Perera,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S. A. C. N.
Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture
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M. A. B. Ranathunga,

Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, LK
About M. A. B.
Plant Breeding Division
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A. K. Mudalige

Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, LK
About A. K.
Plant Breeding Division
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Abstract

Reproductive phenological attributes of the tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) plant have not been paid adequate attention until recently as the plant is being maintained continuously in the vegetative phase for commercial harvesting. However, with the introduction of improved seeds as an alternative planting material to adapt climate change scenarios and with recent advances of controlled hybridization, extensive studies on those aspects become a necessity. Therefore, the present study was conducted to assess the reproductive phenology of ten selected parental cultivars from a representative sample of three tea seed gardens; Salawa, Rembukkanda and Reucastle. Reproductive phenophases were visually rated on a non- parametric scale (0-5) monthly, for a period of 3 consecutive years. Ratings were subsequently converted into an index which represented both synchrony and intensity of phenophases. Study identified the periodicity, synchrony and intensity of reproductive phenophases in relation to the rainfall pattern of the area. Major flowering period was from September to December and major fruiting period was from April to August. The values of indices reflected significant variations of the phenological behavior among the different parental cultivars. The profuse fruit setters and profuse flower setters among the parental cultivars have been identified through the study. The information would be utilized as a base material in selecting suitable parental combinations for future gardens to ensure optimum productivity. Based on the overall results, phenological calendar and phenograms were constructed to facilitate the garden management and seed collection. The information generated could be utilized in controlled hybridization programmes to select candidate parents and to decide the timelines.
How to Cite: Piyasundara, J.H.N., Wickramasinghe, I.P., Gunesekara, M.T.K., Wijeratne, M.A., Perera, S.A.C.N., Ranathunga, M.A.B. and Mudalige, A.K., 2018. Reproductive phenology of tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) cultivars in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research, 29(3), pp.288–301. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v29i3.8268
Published on 28 Jun 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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