Metabolite profiling and transcriptomic analyses reveal an essential role of UVR8-mediated signal transduction pathway in regulating flavonoid biosynthesis in tea plants (Camellia sinensis) in response to shading
Liu, Linlin; Li, Yingying; She, G.; Zhang, Xianchen; Jordan, Brian R.; Chen, Qi; Zhao, Jian; Wan, X.
Background: Tea is the most popular nonalcoholic beverage worldwide for its pleasant characteristics and healthful properties. Catechins, theanine and caffeine are the major natural products in tea buds and leaves that determine tea qualities such as infusion colors, tastes and fragrances, as well as their health benefits. Shading is a traditional and effective practice to modify natural product accumulation and to enhance the tea quality in tea plantation. However, the mechanism underlying the shading effects is not fully understood. This study aims to explore the regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis in Camellia sinensis under shading by using both metabolomic and transcriptional analyses. Results: While shading enhanced chlorophyll accumulation, major catechins, including C, EC, GC and EGC, decreased significantly in tea buds throughout the whole shading period. The reduction of catechins and flavonols were consistent with the simultaneous down-regulation of biosynthetic genes and TFs associated with flavonoid biosynthesis. Of 16 genes involved in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway, F3'H and FLS significantly decreased throughout shading while the others (PAL, CHSs, DFR, ANS, ANR and LAR, etc.) temporally decreased in early or late shading stages. Gene co-expression cluster analysis suggested that a number of photoreceptors and potential genes involved in UV-B signal transductions (UVR8_L, HY5, COP1 and RUP1/2) showed decreasing expression patterns consistent with structural genes (F3'H, FLS, ANS, ANR, LAR, DFR and CHSs) and potential TFs (MYB4, MYB12, MYB14 and MYB111) involved in flavonoid biosynthesis, when compared with genes in the UV-A/blue and red/far-red light signal transductions. The KEGG enrichment and matrix correlation analyses also attributed the regulation of catechin biosynthesis to the UVR8-mediated signal transduction pathway. Further UV-B treatment in the controlled environment confirmed UV-B induction on flavonols and EGCG accumulation in tea leaves. Conclusions: We proposed that catechin biosynthesis in C. sinensis leaves is predominantly regulated by UV through the UVR8-mediated signal transduction pathway to MYB12/MYB4 downstream effectors, to modulate flavonoid accumulation. Our study provides new insights into our understanding of regulatory mechanisms for shading-enhanced tea quality.... [Show full abstract]
KeywordsCamellia sinensis; flavonoids; UVR8; UV-B responses; shading; light signal transduction; Plant Biology & Botany; Plant Leaves; Chlorophyll; Catechin; Caffeine; Glutamates; Plant Proteins; Gene Expression Profiling; Signal Transduction; Light; Tea; Biosynthetic Pathways; Metabolomics; Metabolome; Transcriptome
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