In recent years tea (Camellia sinensis) rhizosphere has been examined in some detail, particularly in relation to plant-microbe interactions. The discovery of the presence of a 'negative rhizosphere effect' in established (not young) tea bushes is considered to be an interesting and a novel characteristic of tea rhizosphere. Other important and associated features include colonization of tea rhizosphere soil pH, etc. These findings have opened up newer avenues for further investigations in the field of 'rhizosphere microbiology'. As the tea bushes grow old, their rhizosphere is colonized by relatively lesser number of microbes indicating increasing selectivity with age. Dominance of a specific microbial population, belonging to the community of general antagonists, represents a fine example of mutual selection in nature. In this paper an attempt has been made to review the distinguishing features associated with the microbial activity and microbial diversity in the tea rhizosphere, and potential applications for the tea industry.
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