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Article|17 May 2022|OPEN
Tea GOLDEN2-LIKE genes enhance catechin biosynthesis through activating R2R3-MYB transcription factor
Lihuan Wang1 , Xiaofeng Tang2 , Shiqiang Zhang2 , Xiang Xie2 , Mengfei Li1 , Yongsheng Liu1,3 , , Songhu Wang,1 ,
1School of Horticulture, State Key Laboratory of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China
2School of Food and Biological Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, 230009 China
3Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Bio-resource and Eco-environment, College of Life Science, State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610064, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac117 (2022)
Views: 102

Received: 19 Dec 2021
Accepted: 10 May 2022
Published online: 17 May 2022


The biosynthesis of catechins, a major type of flavonoids accumulated in tea, is mediated by developmental cues and environmental stimuli. Light enhances but shading treatment reduces catechin accumulation in tea leaves. However, the transcription factors involved in light-mediated catechin biosynthesis remain to be identified. Two GOLDEN2 LIKE genes from tea plant (CsGLK1 and CsGLK2) were isolated and characterized in both tomato and tea plants. Transcripts of both CsGLK1 and CsGLK2 were affected by light intensity in tea plants. Overexpression of CsGLK1 and CsGLK2 promoted chloroplast development and carotenoid accumulation in tomato fruits. An integrated metabolomic and transcriptomic approach revealed that both catechin content and related biosynthetic genes were upregulated in CsGLK-overexpressing tomato leaves. Our further studies in tea plants indicated that CsGLKs directly regulate the transcription of CsMYB5b, a transcription factor involved in catechin biosynthesis. Suppression of CsGLKs in tea leaves led to the reduction of both CsMYB5b expression and catechin accumulation. Taken together, the results show that CsGLKs are involved in light-regulated catechin accumulation in tea plants by regulating expression of CsMYB5b and have great potential for enhancing the accumulation of both carotenoids and flavonoids in fruits of horticultural crops.