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Journal of Tea Science ›› 2024, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (2): 175-192.doi: 10.13305/j.cnki.jts.2024.02.007

• Research Paper •     Next Articles

Identification of CAB Gene Family and Excavation of Key Genes Related to Leaf Yellowing Variationin Tea Plants (Camellia sinensis)

ZHONG Sitong1,2, ZHANG Yazhen2, YOU Xiaomei2, CHEN Zhihui2, KONG Xiangrui2, LIN Zhenghe2, WU Huini1,2, JIN Shan1,*, CHEN Changsong1,2,*   

  1. 1. College of Horticulture, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China;
    2. Tea Research Institute, Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Fujian Branch, National Center for Tea Improvement, Fuzhou 350012, China
  • Received:2024-01-15 Revised:2024-03-11 Online:2024-04-15 Published:2024-04-30

Abstract: Members of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b binding protein (CAB) gene family play an important role in plant leaf yellowing variation. In this study, the CAB family members were identified from tea plant ‘Tieguanyin’ genomic data. The bioinformatics and expression patterns were analyzed. Furthermore, the expression patterns of the CABs gene were analyzed by gene cloning and qRT-PCR in tea cultivars with different leaf colors. The key CAB genes related to tea yellowing were screened by correlation analysis of leaf color parameters and chlorophyll SPAD values. The results show that 25 members of the CAB gene family were identified, their amino acid length ranged from 167-337 and the protein molecular weight ranged from 18.5-37.1 kDa. Most CAB members were stable and hydrophobic proteins, and distributed in chloroplast by the subcellular localization prediction. According to the evolutionary relationship, CAB family members are divided into 13 subfamilies, and the Lhcb1 subfamily has the most members. Cis-acting element analysis of promoter shows that CAB family members have a lot of light-responsive elements, as well as other elements related to growth and development, hormone response, and adversity stress. The members of Lhcb1 subfamily were cloned from tea plants, CAB1, CAB6, and CAB7 genes were screened by sequence alignment. The expression analysis shows that CAB1, CAB6, and CAB7 genes had tissue expression characteristics with higher expression levels in buds, leaves and fruits, and could respond to various stresses. Finally, the qRT-PCR indicates that the expressions of CAB1, CAB6, and CAB7 genes were consistent in the yellow and green leaves. Compared with green leaves, the expression of CAB genes in yellow leaves were significantly down-regulated. The correlation analysis of gene expressions and related leaf color parameters shows that the gene expressions of CAB1, CAB6, and CAB7 were significantly correlated with leaf color parameters a, b, L, and chlorophyll SPAD values (P<0.01). Among them, the expression of CAB1 shows the highest correlation coefficient. The subcellular localization analysis shows that CAB1 was distributed in the nucleus, cytoplasm, and chloroplasts. The studies analyzed the basic characteristics of CAB family members in tea plants and the key genes related to tea color variation were identified, which provided a theoretical basis for the molecular regulation mechanism of tea color variation.

Key words: Camellia sinensis, CAB, yellowing variation, gene cloning, expression analysis

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