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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2018, Vol. 17 Issue (05): 1154-1164    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61654-X
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Identification of miRNAs and target genes regulating catechin biosynthesis in tea (Camellia sinensis)
SUN Ping1, ZHANG Zhen-lu3, ZHU Qiu-fang1, ZHANG Guo-ying1, XIANG Ping1, LIN Yu-ling1, LAI Zhong-xiong1, LIN Jin-ke1, 2
1 College of Horticulture, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, P.R.China
2 Anxi College of Tea Science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, P.R.China
3 College of Protection, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, P.R.China
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摘要  Received  19 April, 2017    Accepted  9 May, 2017

© 2018, CAAS. All rights reserved. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Abstract  MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous non-protein-coding small RNAs that play crucial and versatile regulatory roles in plants.  Using a computational identification method, we identified 55 conserved miRNAs in tea (Camellia sinensis) by aligning miRNA sequences of different plant species with the transcriptome library of tea strain 1005.  We then used quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) to analyze the expression of 31 identified miRNAs in tea leaves of different ages, thereby verifying the existence of these miRNAs and confirming the reliability of the computational identification method.  We predicted which miRNAs were involved in catechin synthesis using psRNAtarget Software based on conserved miRNAs and catechin synthesis pathway-related genes.  Then, we used RNA ligase-mediated rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RLM-RACE) to obtain seven miRNAs cleaving eight catechin synthesis pathway-related genes including chalcone synthase (CHS), chalcone isomerase (CHI), dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR), anthocyanidin reductase (ANR), leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR), and flavanone 3-hydroxylase (F3H).  An expression analysis of miRNAs and target genes revealed that miR529d and miR156g-3p were negatively correlated with their targets CHI and F3H, respectively.  The expression of other miRNAs was not significantly related to their target genes in the catechin synthesis pathway.  The RLM-RACE results suggest that catechin synthesis is regulated by miRNAs that can cleave genes involved in catechin synthesis. 
Keywords:  tea (Camellia sinensis)        miRNA        catechin synthesis        gene  
Received: 19 April 2017   Accepted:

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31170651), the Project from the Ministry of Agriculture, China (KCa16022A), and the Major Science and Technology Project in Fujian Province, China (2015NZ 0002-1).

Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LAI Zhong-xiong, E-mail:; LIN Jin-ke, E-mail:    

Cite this article: 

SUN Ping, ZHANG Zhen-lu, ZHU Qiu-fang, ZHANG Guo-ying, XIANG Ping, LIN Yu-ling, LAI Zhongxiong, LIN Jin-ke. 2018. Identification of miRNAs and target genes regulating catechin biosynthesis in tea (Camellia sinensis). Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 17(05): 1154-1164.

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