, Volume 256, Issue 2, pp 359–370 | Cite as

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

  • Yong-Xin Wang
  • Rui-Min Teng
  • Wen-Li Wang
  • Ying Wang
  • Wei Shen
  • Jing ZhuangEmail author
Original Article


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 Lignin Development Gene expression Leaf Stem 



4-Coumarate-CoA ligase


p-Coumaroyl shikimate/quinate 3′-hydroxylase


Cinnamate 4-hydroxylase


Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase


Caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase


Cinnamoyl-CoA reductase


Caffeic acid O-methyltransferase


Ferulate 5-hydroxylase


Hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase




Phenylalanine ammonia lyase




Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction


Author contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: JZ and YXW. Performed the experiments: YXW, RMT, WLW, YW, WS, and JZ. Analyzed the data: YXW. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: JZ. Wrote the paper: YXW. Revised the paper: JZ YXW. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31570691).

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that there are no competing interests.

Supplementary material

709_2018_1299_MOESM1_ESM.doc (83 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 83 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong-Xin Wang
    • 1
  • Rui-Min Teng
    • 1
  • Wen-Li Wang
    • 1
  • Ying Wang
    • 1
  • Wei Shen
    • 1
  • Jing Zhuang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Tea Science Research Institute, College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina

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