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Open AccessArticle

Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals the Molecular Adaptation of Three Major Secondary Metabolic Pathways to Multiple Macronutrient Starvation in Tea (Camellia sinensis)

by Hui Su 1,2,†, Xueying Zhang 2,†, Yuqing He 2, Linying Li 2, Yuefei Wang 1, Gaojie Hong 2,* and Ping Xu 1,*
1
Department of Tea Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2
State Key Laboratory for Quality and Safety of Agro-products, Institute of Virology and Biotechnology, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310021, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Genes 2020, 11(3), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11030241
Received: 16 January 2020 / Revised: 20 February 2020 / Accepted: 22 February 2020 / Published: 25 February 2020
Tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) is a widely consumed beverage. Lack of macronutrients is a major cause of tea yield and quality losses. Though the effects of macronutrient starvation on tea metabolism have been studied, little is known about their molecular mechanisms. Hence, we investigated changes in the gene expression of tea plants under nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), and potassium (K) deficient conditions by RNA-sequencing. A total of 9103 differentially expressed genes (DEG) were identified. Function enrichment analysis showed that many biological processes and pathways were common to N, P, and K starvation. In particular, cis-element analysis of promoter of genes uncovered that members of the WRKY, MYB, bHLH, NF-Y, NAC, Trihelix, and GATA families were more likely to regulate genes involved in catechins, l-theanine, and caffeine biosynthetic pathways. Our results provide a comprehensive insight into the mechanisms of responses to N, P, and K starvation, and a global basis for the improvement of tea quality and molecular breeding. View Full-Text
Keywords: Camellia sinensis; transcriptomics; macronutrient starvation; secondary metabolite; transcription factors Camellia sinensis; transcriptomics; macronutrient starvation; secondary metabolite; transcription factors
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Su, H.; Zhang, X.; He, Y.; Li, L.; Wang, Y.; Hong, G.; Xu, P. Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals the Molecular Adaptation of Three Major Secondary Metabolic Pathways to Multiple Macronutrient Starvation in Tea (Camellia sinensis). Genes 2020, 11, 241.

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