Crop Biotech Update

Sugar Transporters in Tea Plants Also Involved in Plant Response to Stresses

April 4, 2018

The Sugars Will Eventually be Exported Transporters (SWEET) family of transporters in plants is involved in various biological processes, including plant responses to outside stimuli. The team of Lu Wang from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences aimed to study SWEET transporters from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) and their roles in abiotic stress response.

Analysis of the nine CsSWEET genes expressed in tea leaves revealed that eight of the nine CsSWEET genes responded to abiotic stress while only one, CsSWEET3, responded to Colletotrichum camelliae infection. Further study of another CsSWEET gene, CsSWEET16, revealed that the gene is expressed in the vacuolar membrane and is involved in modifying cold tolerance in Arabidopsis.

These findings demonstrate that CsSWEET genes play important roles in the response to both biotic and abiotic stresses, specifically cold stress, in tea plants.

For more information, read the article in Plant Molecular Biology.