Ongoing research projects of NTRF
 
1) Standardization and optimization of processing conditions in relation to biochemical parameters for manufacture of green tea and oolong tea

Host Institute: Tea Research Association, Tocklai Experimental Station, Jorhat, Assam.
Duration: 2004 - 2007
Objectives
  1. Standardization of green tea processing conditions to achieve International quality from cultivars available in N.E.India.
  2. Assessment of scope of production of Oolong tea from cultivars in N.E.India.
  3. Electronic monitoring and control of process variables in production of Green Tea and Oolong tea.
2) Effect of tea polyphenols on invasive potential of tumor cells.

Host Institute: Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata,
Duration:
2005 - 2008
Objectives
  1. To study the effect of tea extract/tea polyphenols on invasive/metastatic property of tumor cells.
  2. Effect of tea extract/polyphenols on Integrin family of tumor cell surface receptors will be assayed by receptor-ligand interaction / receptor sub-unit assay by immunoblot etc.
  3. Effect of tea extract on tumor cell EGFR and VEGF will be studied by western blot.Effects of tea extract on Matrixmatallophoteinases (MMPs) expression & activity (e.g MMP-2, MMP-9 etc) will be studied in detail to correlate the effect of tea extract on invasive potential of tumor cells.
  4. The effect of tea extract / polyphenols on metastatic property of tumor cells invasion assay, if confirmed, Spontaneous / experimental metastasis assay will be performed in Boyden’s Invasion Chamber using human cell line.
  5. Both black and green tea will be studied separately for comparative assessments.
3) Utilization and Implementation of Native Microbial Bio-agents for Control of Termite Pests in Tea Plantation of North East India

Host Institute: Tea Research Association, Tocklai Experimental Station, Jorhat, Assam
Duration: 2005 - 2008
Objectives
  1. Survey of the tea ecosystem of North East India for collection and subsequent identification of termite species and specific entomopathogenous mircobes.
  2. Bioefficacy of the entomopathogens against termite spp. under laboratory and field conditions.
  3. Developing suitable carrier medium for mass production of effective biocides containing entomopathogens.
  4. To develop an effective package for integrated management of termite pests incorporating the entomopathogens along with other IPM tools.

 

4) Promoting Organic Farming for Tea Productivity and Quality under Hill and Mountain Agro-system

Host Institute: CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.
Duration: 2005 - 2009
Objectives

  1. Inventory and quality assessment of available bio-organic resources having potential to be used as manure and to moderate the composting technology for preparation of compost of different bio-organics under the existing agro-Ecosystem.
  2. Standardization of manure formulations from different organic sources in terms of rate, time and method of application in organic tea production.
  3. To develop cultural, physical and bio-control measures for weed, insect and disease Management in organic tea production.
  4. Evaluation of organic and conventional systems of tea production in terms of yield, quality (value addition), soil health including soil conservation and economic advantages.
5) Nutrient Management Strategic Productivity and Quality of Tea plantation in selected Tea Gardens in North Bengal.

Host Institute: Bidhan Chandra Krishi Visva Vidalaya, Mohanpur, West Bengal
Duration: 2006 - 2009
Objectives
  1. To characterize the status of plant available soil pools of phosphorus (P) potassium (K) and sulphur (S) in four differentially graded tea gardens located in Terai and the Dooars areas of North Bengal in relation to organic matter dynamic.
  2. To monitor the changes of the available pools of P, K and S at selected intervals, for ascertaining the depletion/build-up of these nutrients in the soils under examination.
  3. To examine the critical leaves of P, K and S in tea leaf for ensuring acceptable yield.
  4. To study the changes of pools of different fractions and / or forms of P, K and S from different depths of soils at selected intervals round the year in order to examine the fate of soil pools of P, K and S in the experimental sites, and relate them to organic matter status.
  5. C:N ratios at different areas to be worked out for correlating them with the above noted objectives
6) Development of Bio-fertilisers for promoting Tea Growth and Productivity.

Host Institute: Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.
Duration: 2006 - 2008
Objectives
  1. Selection of efficient strains of phosphate - solubilizing microorganisms by quantification of inorganic phosphate.
  2. Selection of efficient strains of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms by assaying nitrogenase activity.
  3. Selection of efficient PGPR strains in quick screen system.
  1. Characterization / identification of efficient phosphate - solubilizing microorganisms and PGPR, and dominant AM-fungi.
  2. New technology should be developed wherever possible.

7) Studies on vermiculture and vermicomposting in tea growing areas.

Host Institute: UPASI-Tea Research Foundation, Valparai Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
Duration: 2006 - 2008
Objectives
  1. Survey and identification of local earthworm species and studying their functions in vermicomposing.
  2. Studies on the life cycle of the more common and exotic species of earthworms under laboratory/field conditions.
  3. Assessment of the efficient of the common and exotic species of earthworms in vermicomposting.
  4. To develop technique for mass production of earthworms for commercial use in plantations.
  5. Effect of Vermicompost on the growth and development of tea plants.
  6. To develop a simple technique for the preparation of vermiwash, and its application in tea.
8) Inhibitory Role of Black Tea on Cigarette Smoke - induced Emphysema as well as NF-kB-mediated Inflammatory Response using the Guinea Pig as a Model Animal.

Host Institute: Dr.B.C.Guha Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology University of Calcutta.
Duration: 2006 - 2009
Objectives
  1. To study the inhibitory role of black tea and its flavonol components ex-vivo on cigarette smoke-induced apoptosis in cultured human lung epithelial cells.
  2. To study the inhibitory role of black tea and its flavolon components on the activation of Nf-kB in cultured human lung cells.
  3. To study the inhibitory effects of tea compounds against the specified cancer causing single compound in cigarette smoke.
9) Process Development and Enrichment of Vermicompost and its Assessment in Tea Rhizosphere grown at two different altitudes.

Host Institute: Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal.
Duration: 2006 - 2009
Objectives
  1. Soil enrichment, growth and yield of tea to be studied under experimental conditions.
  2. Process development of vermicompost in relation to characterization of raw materials, standardization of environmental parameters, selection of exotic earthworms and microbes, separation of drying technology.

  1. Formulation and enrichment of vermicompost with N & P fixing and P solublizing microbes and its nutrient status.
  2. Testing of developed biofertilizer for nutrient release pattern, and nutrient uptake by tea grown at different altitudes i.e. plains and hills.
  3. To study the residual impact of vermicompost on physio-chemical and biological properties of soil at three different locations, plains, and high and mid elevation at Darjeeling.
10) Quality measurement of Black Tea by Electronic means - Integration of E-Nose, E-Tongue and E-Vision

Host Institute: Centre for Development of Advance Computing, C-DAC, Kolkata.
Duration: 2006 - 2008
Objectives
  1. Investigation on various sensors and sensor arrays useful for detection of taste, smell and visual appearance of black tea by electronic means by interfering with professional tea tasters.
  2. Exploratory research towards development of a prototype for Integrated Quality Measurement System consisting of E-Nose, E-tongue and E-vision, with respect to teas aroma both North and South.
  3. For quality evaluation, the teas from North and South will be studied, on a comparative scale.
 
11) Comparative Antimutagenic and Anticarconogenic effects of Black Tea Polyphenols Theaflavins, Thearubigins and the different fractions of Thearubigins in multiple test system.

Host Institute: Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, IICB, Jadavpur, Kolkata.
Duration: 2006 - 2009
Objectives
  1. To isolate, characterize and identify different fractions of black tea polyphenols and theaflavins (TF).
  2. To evaluate antimutagenic efforts at different fractions of TF & TR by apoptosis and cell proliferation assays.
  3. To identify signaling pathways and gene expressions.

12) Health status of female tea garden workers with special reference to incidence of anemia and malnutrition

Host Institute: Vivekananda Institute of Medical Sciences, RKMSP, Kolkata.
Duration: 2006 - 2009
Objectives
  1. To study the health of female workers in tea gardens of Assam and other NE states with special reference to anaemia and malnutrition.
  2. To provide preventive measures and treatment of anaemia and malnutrition.
  3. To study results of treatment with reference to levels of Hb%, general health status, infections and fertility after a period of two years.
 
13) Studies with some chemical constituents as nutraceuticals of beverage Camellia sinensis with reference to antilcerogenic activity and the mechanism involved

Host Institute: Vivekananda Institute of Medical Sciences, RKMSP, Kolkata.
Duration: 2006 - 2009
Objectives
  1. Elucidation of different components of beverage Camellia sinensis possessing antioxidative property as nutraceuticals using standardized method.
  2. Elucidation of grastic cytoprotective activity as well as anti-inflammatory effect of these components.
  3. A mechanistic study of grastic cytoprotection as well as healing of gastric lesions in relation to their antioxidative pathway.
  4. A study on alterative mechanism of gastric cytoprotectin as well as healing of gastric lesions i.e. prostaglandins pathway involving COX-I & COX II and other cytokines using Western blot and other immunological techniques.
  5. mRNA expression studies of TNFα, iNOS, COX-I & COX-II using RT- PCR.

14 ) Generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the tender shoots cDNA library during blister blight disease infection and "banji" shoot formation in tea plant.

Host Institute: UPASI Tea Research Foundation, Valparai, Tamil Nadu.
Duration: 2007 - 2010
Objectives
  1. Investigation on various sensors and sensor arrays useful for detection of taste, smell and visual appearance of black tea by electronic means by interfering with professional tea tasters.
  2. Exploratory research towards development of a prototype for Integrated Quality Measurement System consisting of E-Nose, E-tongue and E-vision, with respect to teas aroma both North and South.
  3. For quality evaluation, the teas from North and South will be studied, on a comparative scale.

15) Effect of Green & Black Tea Extracts on Endocrine System (Thyroid - Gonadal) with possible Mode of Action

Host Institute: Department of Physiology, University College of Sciences, Kolkata,
Duration: 2007 - 2009
Objectives
  1. To study the effect of green tea and black tea extracts on thyroid and testicular functions in animal models.
  2. To study the mechanism of action of the tea extracts on the functions mentioned above.

16) Biochemical and Molecular approached to Drought Stress Tolerance in Tea

Host Institute: Department of Life Science, Assam University, Silchar.
Duration: 2007 - 2010
Objectives
  1. Determination of biochemical alterations and related physiological aspects in different clones of Camellia sinensis under drought stress.
  2. Isolation of possible drought inducible proteins through electrophoresis and western blotting in tea.
  3. Identification of drought tolerant enzyme markers.

17) Studies on Attributes of Polyphenols from Kangra Tea [Camellia sinensis (L) O Kuntze]

Host Institute: Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya (CSKHPKV), Palampur
Duration: 2007 - 2010
Objectives
  1. To determine the phenolic profiles and their seasonal changes in fresh green tea shoots, and to assess the impact of chemical variation on tea productivity.
  2. Identification of local tea cultivars having different levels of polyphenols for possible use of some of them in plant breeding.

18) Studies on Pesticide Residues in tea for setting MRLs - Phase-III

Host Institute: UPASI Tea Research Foundation, Valparai, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Duration: 2007 - 2008
Objectives
  1. Generate a database for establishing maximum residue limits (MRLs).
  2. Investigate the metabolism and dissipation of selected pesticides.
  3. Detect the level of residue in black tea and tea brew of the selected pesticides that include glyphosate, fenvalerate, beta cyfluthrin, propargite and imidaclorpid.

19) Evaluation of Chemopreventive efficacy of Poloymeric Black Tea Polyphenols and Mechanism(s) of their Anti-Promoting Effects

Host Institute: Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research & Education in Cancer ACTREC), Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai
Duration: 2007 - 2010
Objectives
  1. To compare the chemo preventive efficacy of decaffeinated crude black tea extract (DBTE) and polymeric and oligomeric black tea polyphenols from DBTE in short term model systems employing green tea polyphenols as positive control.
  2. To examine the mechanism(s) involved in polymeric black tea polyphenols - mediated chemoprevention i.e.
  3. Mechanism(s) of anti-promotion activity in mouse skin;
  4. Compare gene expression profiles at different time intervals in mouse skin from experimental animals demonstrating anti-promoting activity;
  5. For confirmation of any observations in vivo, effects of PBPs will be studied in metabolically competent cells lines

20) Development of mass rearing technique for two major predators of red spider mites

Host Institute: UPASI Tea Research Foundation, Valparai, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Duration: 2007 - 2010
Objectives
  1. Development of mass multiplication techniques for Stethorus gilvifrons and Oligota pygmaea, the two important predators of red spider mites.
  2. Multi-location field trials on the evaluation of predatory potential of the two predators using recapture and release technique and their establishment under different agro-climatic conditions, and field release under normal estate practice and in organic tea gardens.
  3. Evaluation of the commonly used (recommended) acaricides / insecticides on the predators.
  1. Evaluation of the role of kairomones (plant derived volatiles) on the behavious of predators.
  2. Training and awareness programes on familiarizing the mass rearing technique of important natural enemies for incorporation in the biological control strategies for efficient management of tea pests.

21) Social security benefits and socio economic conditions of small planters and plantation workers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala - A study

Host Institute: Department of Economics, S.T.Hindu College, Nagercoli
Duration: 2007 - 2009
Objectives
  1. To find out the socio-economic conditions of small growers of tea plantations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  2. To compare social security of their workers in small sectors with those of large corporate sectors.

22) Development of a single cut machine for converting green tea leaves into granulated black tea (CTC type)

Host Institute: Agricultural & Food Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
Duration: 2007 - 2009
Objectives
  1. To re-engineer design of cutting unit of the micronizer for higher efficiency,
  2. To minimize the power consumption of the micronizer.
  3. To study the physical appearance of the cut leaves, bio-chemical changes under fermentation, drying and quality assessment of made tea produced from the machine.
  4. To develop a prototype micronizer and to assess its economic feasibility, with particular reference to high capital to output, and output to power ratios.

23. Developing soil suitability criteria for replanting based on soil health parameters.

Host Institute : Tocklai Experimental Station, Tea Research Association, Jorhat, Assam.
Duration : 2008-2011
Objectives :
  1. To prepare a data base for physical (including water holding capacity of the soil, and exchangeable aluminium), chemical and biological parameters in different soil types under three different conditions viz. old tea soil due for uprooting, replanted after proper rehabilitation and directly replanted without rehabilitation.
  2. To establish the duration of rehabilitation, degree and role of rehabilitation and its nature in different types of soil in improving soil properties and productivity.
  3. To determine the minimum number of soil parameters and their ranges for deciding need for rehabilitation for different duration.

24. Developing a low input weed control programme to reduce chemical load in tea soils

Host Institute : Tocklai Experimental Station, Tea Research Association, Jorhat, Assam.
Duration : 2008-2011
Objectives :
  1. To determine the level of control possible with non traditional herbicides against various species of weeds in tea areas, and their residues on tea.
  2. Effect of mixtures of traditional and non traditional herbicides for effective weed control, with reduced load of individual chemicals.
  3. To find out the allelopathic effect of weeds.
  4. To work out the economics of non traditional weed control.
  5. Evaluate CIB registered chemicals or those in the pipeline, and determine their comparative efficacies.
 
 
25. Selection, collection and preservation of tea germplasm from North Bengal area for development of improved planting materials for Dooars, Terai and Darjeeling

Host Institute : TRA, Nagrakata Subdivision, Jalpaiguri,
Duration : 2008-2011
Objectives :
  1. Survey of the old tea areas for identification of the diverse tea bushes having desirable agronomical traits.
  2. Collection and preservation of selected plants from the Dooars, Terai & Darjeeling for development of cultivars for commercial plantation and generative clones for hybrid production through breeding, with cooperation of DTRC.
  3. Establishment of tea gene bank at Nagrakata to promote tea breeding programs for development of hybrids for North Bengal tea plantations, including Darjeeling.

26. Investigation on the bio resources for the development of Integrated Disease management (IDM) strategy against root-knot nematode and certain soil borne fungal pathogens associated with nursery tea - Phase II.

Host Institute : Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam,
Duration : 2008-2011
Objectives :
  1. To study on interrelationship between root-knot nematodes and certain soil borne fungi and the impact of latter in reducing the disease severity in nursery tea.
  2. To evaluate the efficacy and standardize the economic dose of some organic amendments and promising fungal antagonists against root-knot nematodes affecting tea nurseries.
  3. To evaluate soil heating and soil solarisation for nematode control.
  4. Evaluation of organic substrates as a media for effective mass multiplication of promising fungal antagonists and growth of the seedlings with methods of application.

27. Assessment of spiders as second order of bio-control agents in tea ecosystem with special reference to Assam and Dooars of West Bengal

Host Institute : University of Calcutta,
Duration : 2008-2011
Objectives :
  1. To classify the diversity of spiders in tea ecosystem in tea areas adjoining forest and non-forest areas.
  2. Generation of data on the spider taxa of conventional and organic tea gardens adjacent and away from forest.

  1. To generate data on food spectrum of spiders and inventories of spider species as bio-resource in the control of tea pests.
  2. To prepare a database of the spider taxa in tea ecosystem and recommend bio-resources of the study area.
28. Screening of antistress and aging defence ingredients of tea by cell Biology assays

Host Institute : University of Calcutta,
Duration : 2008-2011
Objectives :
  1. Analysis of transcriptional and translation products of the stress genes by gel electrophoresis in presence or / absence of tea polyphenols to evaluate the effectiveness of target molecules of tea polyphenols in stressful situation.
  2. Analysis of multi-stress attributes of tea-polyphenols and their interactions with the candidate genes for understanding the anti-stress attributes of TF and TR separately.
  3. To investigate and analyze the expression pattern of developmental genes whose temporal pattern of expression could be scaled as biomarkers of stress in the presence of TF or TRs.
  4. Spermatogenesis and oogenesis in Drosophila and rat model system after oral administration tea polyphenols at different doses during development, and their implications in developmental genetics.

29. Resource Utilisation in Tea Industry: Current Problem and Future Prospects with special reference to labour.

Host Institute : Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, Kolkata
Duration : 2008-2011
Objectives :
  1. To suggest measures for converting the utilized land in the tea gardens into productive assets, in other words, to suggest a land use plan of utilized land in tea gardens.
  2. To examine the Educational scenarios in tea gardens.
  3. To find out the Basic Services and Amenities Provided to Tea garden workers.
  4. To assess the feasibility and implications of Consumer Price Index (CPI) - linked variable DA, minimum wage calculation according to the prescribed norms of trating a family as three consumption units.
  5. To explain the reasons for Labour immobility in tea gardens and to suggest ways to tackle this problem.
 
30. A Quantitative Study of Tea Industry - Market, Pricing and Organization

Host Institute : Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, Kolkata
Duration : 2008-2011
Objectives :
  1. To work out the degree of competitiveness of Indian tea in world market and factor influencing on it.
  2. Forecast market trends for the near future with help of econometric tools.
  3. Explanation for institutional problems of plantation and marketing, and pointing out the reasons for the duality of tea plantations and poor percolation of benefit from final market to small tea growers.
  4. Analysis of the tea auction market and pricing behaviour.
  5. Pros and cons of 100% FDI to motivate growers and joint venture for the development of tea industry.
  6. To suggest the policies for retail chain collaboration for the benefit of tea growers and avenues of strategic export promotion to expand market for Indian Tea.

 
31. Impact of Video-show developed for disseminating nutrition messages to female tea plantation workers of Assam

Host Institute : Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam,
Duration : 2007-2009
Objectives :


32. Multicentric Study on Effect of Tea in Cerebrovascular Disease.

Host Institute : Vivekananda Institute of Medical Science, Kolkata
Duration :2008-2012
Objectives :

  1. To evaluate, using human cohorts, the long effect to tea drinking in cases of proven cerebral vascular disease with or without diabetes, hypertension and ischemic heart disease.
  2. To carry out detailed epidemiological studies on human subjects of different age groups treated with tea as a therapeutic (2-4 cups of measured amount tea per day, with and without milk) along with other curatives.
  3. To compare the cohort given to tea drinking, to a comparable cohort not provided with tea as a treatment.
  4. To study the clinical, biochemical, radiological and related parameters for the two groups of cohorts for a period of four years.
 
33. Impregnation of Oxygen During Fermentation of CTC Tea.

Host Institute : Tocklai Experimental Station, Tea Research Association, Jorhat, Assam
Duration : 2008-2010
 
 
Objectives :
  1. Optimizing the oxygenation process from an outside source during fermentation process and evaluating its effects in improving the quality of tea.
  2. To standardize the parameters including biochemical ones, involved in the envisaged process, with particular reference to continuous fermenting machines.

34. Modification of SEPTU Micronizer for converting Green Tea Leaves into Granulated black tea.


Host Institute : Tocklai Experimental Station, Tea Research Association, Jorhat, Assam.
Duration : 2008-2010
Objectives :
  1. To re-engineer the design of the cutting unit of the Micronizer for higher efficiency.
  2. To minimize the power consumption by the Micronizer.
  3. To study the physical appearance of the cut leaves, their biochemical changes during different phases of processing and quality assessment of the tea produced by the modified machine.
  4. To develop a prototype of the modified Micronizer and assess its economic viability with particular reference to capital to output, and output to power ratios.

35. Prevention of Gastric ulceration by Black Tea: An insight into Extracellular Matrix Remodeling of gastric tissues

Host Institute : Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata
Duration : 2008-2011
Objectives :
    • To evaluate, using a model system, the effect of black tea extract (BTE) as preventive and therapeutic agent against gastric ulcers.
    • To look into the mode of action of BTE, in the context of modulation of matrix metalloproteinase which is responsible for ulcerogenesis.