1Key Laboratory of South China Agricultural Plant Molecular Analysis and Genetic Improvement & Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Applied Botany, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 723 Xingke Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510650, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, China
3Center of Economic Botany, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 723 Xingke Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510650, China
Received: 17 Mar 2021 Revised: 19 Jul 2021 Accepted: 17 Aug 2021 Published online: 01 Dec 2021
Tea plants are subjected to multiple stresses during growth, development, and postharvest processing, which affects levels of secondary metabolites in leaves and influences tea functional properties and quality. Most studies on secondary metabolism in tea have focused on gene, protein, and metabolite levels, whereas upstream regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. In this review, we exemplify DNA methylation and histone acetylation, summarize the important regulatory effects that epigenetic modifications have on plant secondary metabolism, and discuss feasible research strategies to elucidate the underlying specific epigenetic mechanisms of secondary metabolism regulation in tea. This information will help researchers investigate the epigenetic regulation of secondary metabolism in tea, providing key epigenetic data that can be used for future tea genetic breeding.