Plant and Soil

, Volume 431, Issue 1–2, pp 71–87 | Cite as

Natural variation of CsSTOP1 in tea plant ( Camellia sinensis ) related to aluminum tolerance

  • Hua ZhaoEmail author
  • Wei Huang
  • Yange Zhang
  • Ziwei Zhang
  • Yong Li
  • Che Tang
  • Jie Huang
  • Dejiang Ni
Regular Article


The tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) is indigenous to China, where its wild ancestors are broadly distributed in Southwest China. As an aluminum (Al) accumulator, tea plant is very tolerant to Al and accumulates Al at high levelin the leaves. Here an Al tolerant transcription factor of CsSTOP1 was characterized and assumed to regulate multiple genes critical for Al tolerance. The transcriptional regulations by STOP1-like proteins were conserved and conferred the ability to survive in acid soil. Furthermore, a 9-bp deletion was found in five varieties of assamica subspecies and CsSTOP1Mkdy-OE Arabidopsis lines showed more tolerant to Al than CsSTOP1JM1-OE lines, which might be the natural selection of the genetic variation for the tea plant’s adaptation to acidic soil. Given the CsSTOP1Mkdy allele more tolerant to Al and tea plant gradually spreading from the original center of Southwest China, this present study suggests that CsSTOP1 is labelled as an ‘adaptive’ trait that increases tea plant fitness in a particular environmental context of rhizotoxicity Al toxicity in acid soil. The qPCR result suggests the 9-bp deletion is not responsible for transcriptional activity while this deletion may affect the transcriptional regulation level.


Adaptation Acid soil Aluminum tolerance CsSTOP1 Natural variation Tea plant 



This work was jointly supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31470406), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2662015BQ011 and 2662018JC046).

Author Contributions

H Zhao and DJ Ni funded project and designed the study. H Zhao conducted data analysis and wrote the manuscript. YG Zhang, W Huang, Y Li, ZW Zhang & J Huang carried out the in planta transformation, phenotype identification and subcellular localization. C Tang assessed the Al concentration.

Supplementary material

11104_2018_3746_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (874 kb)
ESM 1 The Arabidopsis (WT) growth in response to a gradient Al levels (a) and the comparison between WT and stop1 mutant exposed to sensititive Al level of 6 μM (b). (PPTX 874 kb)
11104_2018_3746_MOESM2_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 24 kb)
11104_2018_3746_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (45 kb)
Table S2 Haplotype analysis of the CsSTOP1 gene region based on amino acid sequence from 50 tea plant accessions. The conserved zinc finger domain for the 50 tea plant accessions. (XLSX 44 kb)
11104_2018_3746_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (34 kb)
Table S3 (XLSX 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hua Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wei Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yange Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ziwei Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yong Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Che Tang
    • 3
  • Jie Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dejiang Ni
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology of Ministry of EducationHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Horticulture & Forestry SciencesHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Hubei Province Agricultural Products Quality Safety Testing CenterWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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