Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 253–263 | Cite as

Molecular Cloning and Characterization of a Short-Chain Dehydrogenase Showing Activity with Volatile Compounds Isolated from Camellia sinensis

  • Ying Zhou
  • Ling Zhang
  • Jiadong Gui
  • Fang Dong
  • Sihua Cheng
  • Xin Mei
  • Linyun Zhang
  • Yongqing Li
  • Xinguo Su
  • Susanne Baldermann
  • Naoharu Watanabe
  • Ziyin Yang
Original Paper


Camellia sinensis synthesizes and emits a large variety of volatile phenylpropanoids and benzenoids (VPB). To investigate the enzymes involved in the formation of these VPB compounds, a new C. sinensis short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (CsSDR) was isolated, cloned, sequenced, and functionally characterized. The complete open reading frame of CsSDR contains 996 nucleotides with a calculated protein molecular mass of 34.5 kDa. The CsSDR recombinant protein produced in Escherichia coli exhibited dehydrogenase-reductase activity towards several major VPB compounds in C. sinensis flowers with a strong preference for NADP/NADPH co-factors, and showed affinity for (R)/(S)-1-phenylethanol (1PE), phenylacetaldehyde, benzaldehyde, and benzyl alcohol, and no affinity for acetophenone (AP) and 2-phenylethanol. CsSDR showed the highest catalytic efficiency towards (R)/(S)-1PE. Furthermore, the transient expression analysis in Nicotiana benthamiana plants validated that CsSDR could convert 1PE to AP in plants. CsSDR transcript level was not significantly affected by floral development and some jasmonic acid-related environmental stress, and CsSDR transcript accumulation was detected in most floral tissues such as receptacle and anther, which were main storage locations of VPB compounds. Our results indicate that CsSDR is expressed in C. sinensis flowers and is likely to contribute to a number of floral VPB compounds including the 1PE derivative AP.


Camellia sinensis 1-Phenylethanol Phenylpropanoids Short chain dehydrogenase Volatile compound 



Alcohol dehydrogenases




C. sinensis short chain dehydrogenase/reductase




Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate


Geranyl pyrophosphate


Open reading frame




Short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase


Volatile phenylpropanoids and benzenoids



This work was supported by the “100 Talents Programme of the Chinese Academy of Sciences” (Y321011001 and 201209), the National Natural Science Foundation for Young Scholar of China (30900997), and the Foundation of Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Supplementary material

11105_2014_751_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.8 mb)
Figure S1 SDS-PAGE and Western blot analyses of CsSDR and CsSDRL expressed in Escherichia coli (DOC 1845 kb)
11105_2014_751_MOESM2_ESM.doc (116 kb)
Figure S2 (DOC 116 kb)
11105_2014_751_MOESM3_ESM.doc (53 kb)
Figure S3 (DOC 53 kb)
11105_2014_751_MOESM4_ESM.doc (56 kb)
Figure S4 (DOC 56 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Zhou
    • 1
  • Ling Zhang
    • 1
  • Jiadong Gui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fang Dong
    • 3
  • Sihua Cheng
    • 4
  • Xin Mei
    • 1
  • Linyun Zhang
    • 4
  • Yongqing Li
    • 1
  • Xinguo Su
    • 3
  • Susanne Baldermann
    • 5
  • Naoharu Watanabe
    • 6
  • Ziyin Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Plant Resource Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Guangdong Food and Drug Vocational CollegeGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.College of Horticultural ScienceSouth China Agricultural UniversityGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.Institute of Nutritional ScienceUniversity of PotsdamNuthetalGermany
  6. 6.Graduate School of Science and TechnologyShizuoka UniversityHamamatsuJapan

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