Elevated Carbon Dioxide-Induced Perturbations in Metabolism of Tea Plants

  • Xin Li
  • Golam Jalal Ahammed
  • Lan Zhang
  • Peng Yan
  • Liping Zhang
  • Wen-Yan HanEmail author


Rising CO2 on the earth’s surface is the single most influential driving force for climate change. A CO2-enriched environment impacts leaf chemistry and metabolism, leading to remarkable changes in plant productivity. While effect of elevated CO2 on the yield of economic crops has been well addressed, its impact on important beverage crops such as tea (Camellia sinensis L.) has received less attention. In tea plants, elevated CO2 increases photosynthesis and the production of photoassimilates, whereas increased photosynthesis necessitates increased respiration to provide more energy to drive photosynthesis. Furthermore, elevated CO2 increases total carbon concentration and decreases total nitrogen concentration, resulting in an increased ratio of carbon to nitrogen in tea leaves. Despite the discrepancies in research reports, elevated CO2 improves tea quality by causing enhancements in the concentrations of tea polyphenol, free amino acid, including theanine and a reduction in that of caffeine. A proper balance between photosynthesis and respiration under elevated CO2 increases net productivity in tea; however, tea plant defense response to necrotrophic pathogens is attenuated in a CO2-enriched environment. In this chapter, we aim to review and summarize available literature on the changes in plant physiological processes, primary and secondary metabolite synthesis, nutraceutical properties, overall tea quality, tea yield, and plant defense in response to elevated CO2.


Elevated CO2 Tea quality Photosynthesis Respiration Tea yield Defense response 



Research in the authors’ laboratories is supported by the grants from Key Project of International Science & Technology Cooperation, National Key Research and Development Programme of China (2017YFE0107500), the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Y19C160031), the Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS-ASTIP-2015-TRICAAS), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31600561), and Henan University of Science and Technology (HAUST) Research Start-up Fund for New Faculty (13480058).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xin Li
    • 1
  • Golam Jalal Ahammed
    • 2
  • Lan Zhang
    • 3
  • Peng Yan
    • 3
  • Liping Zhang
    • 3
  • Wen-Yan Han
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Chinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesTea Research InstituteHangzhouPR China
  2. 2.Department of Horticulture, College of ForestryHenan University of Science and TechnologyLuoyangPR China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Tea Quality and Safety Control, Ministry of AgricultureTea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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