Isolation and Identification of Acid-tolerant Bacteria from Tea (Camellia sinensis) Plant Soil

Author's: Shakeela Mohammad1, Pu Qian1, Li Jin1, Lu Jin1, Li Ou1, Muhammad Naeem Iqbal2, Guohong Zeng1, Xiu-Fang Hu1*
Authors' Affiliations
1Zhejiang Province Key Laboratory of Plant Secondary Metabolism and Regulation, College of Life Science, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, 310018, Hangzhou, P.R. China.2Pakistan Science Mission (PSM), Narowal (Noor Kot 51770), Pakistan.*CorrespondenceHu
Article Type: Research Article     Published: Aug. 30, 2021 Pages: 14-24
DOI:        Views 213       Downloads 0


This study aimed to explore the acid-tolerant bacteria isolated from tea plant soils that elaborate low pH range of (4.5–6.0). However, acidic soils require low water holding capacity and poor fertility rate; therefore continuously increasing acid in soils inhibits the growth and reduces the quality of Camellia sinensis. Microorganisms provide essential support to plants in several environmental conditions. According to the final results, 25 isolates were obtained from the soils; most of them belong to the genus Pseudomonas sp. and Bacillus sp. Some isolates, such as Paraburkholderia sp. LJCY 02, Paenarthrobacter sp. LJCY 09, Pseudomonas azotoformans LJCY 11, Bacillus pumilus LJCY 17 and Lelliottia nimipressuralis LJCY 18 grew very well in acidic medium, indicating good resistance against acidity. Some isolates like Pseudomonas sp. LJCY 04, Pseudomonas sp. LJCY 12, Arthrobacter oryzae LJCY 16, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae LJCY 25 made the pH value increase to 6.0-6.5. Inoculated in acid soil, Saccharomyces cerevisiae LJCY 25 increased their pH, which provides the potential to regulate the pH value of the acidic soil.


Tea garden soil,

Microbial diversity,

Acidity–tolerant bacteria,


How to cite

Mohammad, S., Qian, P., Jin, L., Jin, L., Ou, L., Iqbal, M.N., Zeng, G., Hu, X-F., 2021. Isolation and Identification of Acid-tolerant Bacteria from Tea (Camellia sinensis) Plant Soil. Int. J. Mol. Microbiol., 4(2): 14-24.


Tea is a native plant in China, Tibet, northern India, and it is cultivated in some other countries around the world. Tea is the most popular, caffeine-containing beverage in the biosphere (Aliasgharzad et al., 2011). The point is that almost all kinds of tea come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) bushes; but the simple technique in which they are managed varies, yielding the main arrangements and varieties of tea. Different varieties such as White, Green, and Yellow tea are manufactured by steaming the leaves, accordingly eradicating the oxidation process (Gonçalves Bortolini et al., 2021).

The production and cultivation of the tea plant frequently have great commercial importance. In 2019 around the world overall tea-growing land area was 1 million hectares; and the annual production of a total of 5.79 million tons of tea (FAOSTAT, 2021). Chemically tea plant contains approximately 4000 bioactive compounds of which one-third is contributed by polyphenols (Mahmood et al., 2010).

Global land has received more than 50 kg accumulated N deposition during 2000–2010 (Penuelas et al., 2013) which has been well documented as the main causation of soil acidification in terrestrial ecosystems (Yang et al., 2012). The microbial populations associated with tea soils, some special groups of microbes such as bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi either symbiotic or free-living are key for plant nutrition and health and, because of this, the rhizosphere is frequently compared with the human gut (Berendsen et al., 2012). The rhizosphere is considered as a complete microbial profile that has higher microbial biomass and activity when compared to the surrounding bulk soil (Finzi et al., 2015; Islam, 2018; Siyar et al., 2019).

Microbes play main role in the remediation process to control soil pollution. Several species of microbes are used to control acidification through different mechanisms (Guan and Liu, 2020). Three main mechanisms are usually input forward to clarify how microbial activity can increase plant growth in several conditions: (1) controlling the hormonal signaling of plants in different ways; (2) outcompeting pathogenic microbial strains; and (3) increasing the bioavailability of soil-borne nutrients. The rhizospheric soil of C. sinensis is a typical micro-environment with high acidity (He et al., 2021). This acidic soil enriches a group of bacteria resisting against acidity, and it also inhibits some beneficial bacteria, which might promote the growth of the tea plant. In this study, acid-tolerant bacteria were isolated and identified, which might be helpful to remediate the acidic soil and thus promote the growth of the tea plant.


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