The use of natural antimicrobial compounds in crop production has gained much attention from consumers and the agricultural industry. Consequently, interest in more natural, non-synthetic antimicrobials as potential alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides to combat phytopathogens has heightened. Tea polyphenol (TP), a unique and highly important functional component of tea plants, has been reported to possess antimicrobial properties against a wide spectrum of plant pathogens. The aim of this review is to discuss the emerging findings on the mechanisms of antimicrobial action, and the antimicrobial properties of TP, including their major components, effectiveness, and synergistic effects. More studies, particularly field studies, are still necessary to establish conclusive evidence for the effectiveness of TP against phytopathogens. However, the basic conclusion from existing studies suggests that TP is a potential antimicrobial agent for pesticide reduction in agricultural systems.
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