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The Effects of Ultraviolet A/B Treatments on Anthocyanin Accumulation and Gene Expression in Dark-Purple Tea Cultivar ‘Ziyan’ (Camellia sinensis)

College of Horticulture, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Molecules 2020, 25(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25020354 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 December 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 15 January 2020
‘Ziyan’ is a novel anthocyanin-rich tea cultivar with dark purple young shoots. However, how its anthocyanin accumulation is affected by environmental factors, such as ultraviolet (UV), remains unclear. In this study, we observed that UV light treatments stimulated anthocyanin accumulation in ‘Ziyan’ leaves, and we further analyzed the underlying mechanisms at gene expression and enzyme activity levels. In addition, the catechins and chlorophyll contents of young shoots under different light treatments were also changed. The results showed that the contents of total anthocyanins and three major anthocyanin molecules, i.e., delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin, were significantly higher in leaves under UV-A, UV-B, and UV-AB treatments than those under white light treatment alone. However, the total catechins and chlorophyll contents in these purple tea plant leaves displayed the opposite trends. The anthocyanin content was the highest under UV-A treatment, which was higher by about 66% than control. Compared with the white light treatment alone, the enzyme activities of chalcone synthase (CHS), flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylase (F3′5′H), and anthocyanidin synthase (ANS) under UV treatments increased significantly, whereas the leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR) and anthocyanidin reductase (ANR) activities reduced. There was no significant difference in dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) activity under all treatments. Comparative transcriptome analyses unveiled that there were 565 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of 29,648 genes in three pair-wise comparisons (white light versus UV-A, W vs. UV-A; white light versus UV-B, W vs. UV-A; white light versus UV-AB, W vs. UV-AB). The structural genes in anthocyanin pathway such as flavanone 3-hydroxylase (F3H), F3′5′H, DFR, and ANS, and regulatory gene TT8 were upregulated under UV-A treatment; F3′5′H, DFR, ANS, and UFGT and regulatory genes EGL1 and TT2 were upregulated under UV-AB treatment. However, most structural genes involved in phenylpropanoid and flavonoid pathways were downregulated under UV-B treatment compared with control. The expression of LAR and ANR were repressed in all UV treatments. Our results indicated that UV-A and UV-B radiations can induce anthocyanin accumulation in tea plant ‘Ziyan’ by upregulating the structural and regulatory genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis. In addition, UV radiation repressed the expression levels of LAR, ANR, and FLS, resulting in reduced ANR activity and a metabolic flux shift toward anthocyanin biosynthesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: UV-A; UV-B; Camellia sinensis; Ziyan; anthocyanin biosynthesis; transcriptome UV-A; UV-B; Camellia sinensis; Ziyan; anthocyanin biosynthesis; transcriptome
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Li, W.; Tan, L.; Zou, Y.; Tan, X.; Huang, J.; Chen, W.; Tang, Q. The Effects of Ultraviolet A/B Treatments on Anthocyanin Accumulation and Gene Expression in Dark-Purple Tea Cultivar ‘Ziyan’ (Camellia sinensis). Molecules 2020, 25, 354.

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