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Journal of Tea Science ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (2): 173-183.doi: 10.13305/j.cnki.jts.2021.02.003

• Research Paper • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Identification and Analysis of Analogue Theanine Synthase Gene Family in Tomato

MAO Peng1,2, WANG Liyuan1,*, BAI Peixian1, WEI Kang1, RUAN Li1, ZHNAG Yazhen1, CHENG Hao1,*   

  1. 1. Tea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, National Center for Tea Improvement, Key Laboratory of Tea Biology and Resource Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture, Hangzhou 310008, China;
    2. Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2021-01-06 Revised:2021-01-22 Online:2021-04-15 Published:2021-04-13

Abstract: Theanine synthetase (TS) and some members of the glutamine synthetase (GS) family in tea plants show catalytic activity for the synthesis of theanine from ethylamine and glutamic acid. The enzymes in plants that show catalytic activity for the synthesis of theanine and are highly similar to TS sequence of tea plants are named as the analogue theanine synthase (ATS). To explore the existence of ATS in non-tea plants and effect of ethylamine on theanine synthesis, ‘Mico-Tom’ tomato was used as materials. As tomato seedlings was treated hydroponically with ethylamine, theanine was successfully detected in the leaves of the treated group. The content of glutamine (Gln) in the tomato leaves was also significantly increased, while the content of alanine did not change compared with the control group. Then, 12 and 5 members of the ATS family were identified respectively in tea and tomato through bioinformatics analysis and all of them contained the Gln-synt_C domain of glutamine synthase. Further qRT-PCR results show that the expressions of 2 ATS (SlGS1.1 and SlGS1) in the leaves were significantly increased under the treatment of ethylamine. In conclusion, the ATS may exist widely in plants, and ethylamine would be a key limiting factor in the synthesis of theanine as an important precursor. Meanwhile, ethylamine can greatly accelerate the production of theanine by promoting the transcripts of ATS.

Key words: tomato, theanine, ethylamine, analogue theanine synthase, gene family

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