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