Identification of genes revealed differential expression profiles and lignin accumulation during leaf and stem development in tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze).


Tea Science Research Institute, College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, 210095, China. [Email]


Lignin is a complex aromatic heteropolymer that plays essential roles in mechanical support, water transport, and response to biotic and abiotic stresses. The tea plant is a leaf-type beverage crop, which serves as a resource for non-alcoholic beverage tea. The content and distribution of lignin in tea plant leaves seriously affect the quality of tea. However, the biosynthetic pathways of lignin remain to be characterized in the tea plant. In the present study, lignin accumulation was investigated in tea plant leaves and stems at three developmental stages. The lignin content continuously increased during leaf and stem development in both tea plant cultivars 'Fudingdabai' and 'Suchazao.' The lignin distribution and anatomical characteristics of the tea plant leaves coincided with lignin accumulation and showed that lignin is mainly distributed in the epidermis, xylem, and vascular bundle sheath. 'Suchazao' exhibits a low lignin content and lacks a vascular bundle sheath. Twelve genes encoding the enzymes involved in the lignin biosynthesis of tea plant were identified and included CsPAL, CsC4H, Cs4CL, CsHCT, CsC3H, CsCCoAOMT, CsCCR, CsCAD, CsF5H, CsCOMT, CsPER, and CsLAC. The expression profiling of lignin biosynthesis-related genes and analysis of lignin accumulation may help elaborate the regulatory mechanisms of lignin biosynthesis in tea plant.


Camellia sinensis,Development,Gene expression,Leaf,Lignin,Stem,