ISOLATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF INDIGENOUS BACTERIA FOR THE CONTROL OF HORSE HAIR BLIGHT DISEASE OF TEADhritiman Chanda, G.D. Sharma, D.K Jha, Nikkan Chakraborty and Raja Kumar
Tea plantation is covered by 434,000 hectares of land, which is further divided into two distinct regions - the North Indian tea belt and the South Indian tea belt. North-East India produces 75% of the total Indian tea. Present study is carried out to understand the various agro-climatic conditions of Barak valley like temperature, humidity, rainfall etc which are responsible for occurrence of various diseases in tea plant. Six genera of fungi were isolated and identified as Aspergillus niger, Trichoderma sp., Penicillium sp., Cladosporium sp., Helminthosporium sp. and Fusarium sp. Percentage of relative abundance of all the isolated fungi also estimated and it is found that Aspergillus niger shows high percentage of relative abundance (30%), followed by Trichoderma sp. (22%), Penicillium sp. (12%), Cladosporium sp.(18%), Helminthosporium sp. (8%) and Fusarium sp.(10%). The isolated bacterial strain (Bacillus sp) screened for their antagonistic potential against the pathogen Marasmius equicrinis by dual culture technique. The study indicated that biocontrol agents (Bacillus sp.) are very effective to control the horse hair blight disease in tea plant under in vitro conditions. Our preliminary investigations provided a key concept to use the inoculums of Bacillus sp as biocontrol equipment in the tea gardens of N.E. region to get control over horse hair blight disease of tea.