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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2015, Article ID 527054, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/527054
Research Article

Genome-Wide Identification of Genes Probably Relevant to the Uniqueness of Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis) and Its Cultivars

Institute of Quality Standard and Testing Technology for Agro-Products, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan 430064, China

Received 11 June 2015; Revised 21 August 2015; Accepted 23 August 2015

Academic Editor: Yanbin Yin

Copyright © 2015 Yan Wei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Tea (Camellia sinensis) is a popular beverage all over the world and a number of studies have focused on the genetic uniqueness of tea and its cultivars. However, molecular mechanisms underlying these phenomena are largely undefined. In this report, based on expression data available from public databases, we performed a series of analyses to identify genes probably relevant to the uniqueness of C. sinensis and two of its cultivars (LJ43 and ZH2). Evolutionary analyses showed that the evolutionary rates of genes involved in the pathways were not significantly different among C. sinensis, C. oleifera, and C. azalea. Interestingly, a number of gene families, including genes involved in the pathways synthesizing iconic secondary metabolites of tea plant, were significantly upregulated, expressed in C. sinensis (LJ43) when compared to C. azalea, and this may partially explain its higher content of flavonoid, theanine, and caffeine. Further investigation showed that nonsynonymous mutations may partially contribute to the differences between the two cultivars of C. sinensis, such as the chlorina and higher contents of amino acids in ZH2. Genes identified as candidates are probably relevant to the uniqueness of C. sinensis and its cultivars should be good candidates for subsequent functional analyses and marker-assisted breeding.