Physiological, biochemical and genetic responses of Caucasian tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) genotypes under cold and frost stress

Background. Cold and frost are two serious factors limiting the yield of many crops worldwide, including the tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze). The acclimatization of tea plant from tropical to temperate climate regions resulted in unique germplasm in the North-Western Caucasus with extremely frost-tolerant genotypes. Methods. The aim of the current research was to evaluate the physiological, biochemical and genetic responses of tolerant and sensitive tea cultivars exposed to cold (0 to +2 ◦C for 7 days) and frost (−6 to −8 ◦C for 5 days). Relative water content, cell membranes integrity, pH of the cell sap, water soluble protein, cations, sugars, amino acids were measured under cold and frost. Comparative expression of the following genes ICE1, CBF1, WRKY2, DHN1, DHN2, DHN3, NAC17, NAC26, NAC30, SnRK1.1, SnRK1.2, SnRK1.3, bHLH7, bHLH43, P5CS, LOX1, LOX6, LOX7 were analyzed. Results. We found elevated protein (by 3-4 times) and cations (potassium, calcium and magnesium) contents in the leaves of both cultivars under cold and frost treatments. Meanwhile, Leu, Met, Val, Thr, Ser were increased under cold and frost, however tolerant cv. Gruzinskii7 showed earlier accumulation of these amino acids. Out of 18 studied genes, 11 were expressed at greater level in the frost- tolerant cultivar comparing with frost-sensitive one: ICE1, CBF1, WRKY2, DHN2, NAC17, NAC26, SnRK1.1, SnRK1.3, bHLH43, P5CS and LOX6. Positive correlations between certain amino acids namely, Met, Thr, Leu and Ser and studied genes were found. Taken together, the revealed cold responses in Caucasian tea cultivars help better understanding of tea tolerance to low temperature stress and role of revealed metabolites need to be further evaluated in different tea genotypes. © 2020 Samarina et al. Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0

Samarina L.S.1 , Malyukova L.S.1 , Efremov A.M.1 , Simonyan T.A.1 , Matskiv A.O.1 , Koninskaya N.G.1 , Rakhmangulov R.S.1 , Gvasaliya M.V.1 , Malyarovskaya V.I.1 , Ryndin A.V.1 , Orlov Y.L. 1, 2, 3 , Tong W.4 , Hanke M.-V.1
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  • 1 Federal Research Centre, Subtropical Scientific Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences, Sochi, Russian Federation
  • 2 Agrarian and Technological Institute, Peoples' Friendship, University of Russia, (RUDN), Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 3 Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation
  • 4 State Key Laboratory of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei, China
Amino acids content; Camellia sinensis; Cations; Climate adaptation; Frost tolerance; Gene expression; Osmotic stress; Plant physiology
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