, Volume 154, Issue 1–2, pp 239–248 | Cite as

Genetic improvement and breeding of tea plant (Camellia sinensis) in China: from individual selection to hybridization and molecular breeding

  • Liang Chen
  • Zhi-Xiu Zhou
  • Ya-Jun Yang


Tea is an important revenue source for the tea producing countries in the world, including China. China is the place of origin of tea plants, it has the broadest genetic variations in the world. It also has bred more than 200 improved cultivars. The improved cultivars have made important contribution in the tea industry. In this paper the achievements of tea genetic improvement and breeding, the current situation of collection, conservation, appraisal and evaluation of tea germplasms, the establishment and development of tea breeding system were reviewed. The main research emphases for the genetics and breeding of tea plant in the near future in China are proposed.


Breeding China Genetic improvement Prospects Tea plant (Camellia sinensis



Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism


Amplicon Length Polymorphisms


Cleaved Amplified Polymorphic Sequence


Expressed Sequence Tag


Inter Simple Sequence Repeat


Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA


Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism


Simple Sequence Repeat



This work was supported in partial by the NSF of Zhejiang (Y305124) to Liang Chen. And the authors thank professor Fu-lian Yu in the TRICAAS, Dr. Zeno Apostolides in Tea Research Laboratory of University of Pretoria, South Africa and the anonymous reviewers for their critical preview and constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Tea Germplasm, Genetic Improvement and Molecular BiologyTea Research Institute Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Key Laboratory of Tea Chemical Engineering of the Ministry of AgricultureHangzhouChina

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