Variations of stomata development in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) leaves in different light and temperature environments and genetic backgrounds
Li, Ping ; Lin, Junming ; Zhu, Mingzhi ; Zuo, Hao ; Shen, Yihua ; Li, Juan ; Wang, Kunbo ; Li, Penghui ; Tang, Qian ; Liu, Zhonghua ; Zhao, Jian*
Stomata perform important functions in plant photosynthesis, respiration, gas exchange, and interactions with environments. However, tea plant stomata development and functions are not known. Here, we show morphological changes during stomata development and genetic dissection of stomata lineage genes regulating stomata formation in tea developing leaves. Different tea plant cultivars displayed clear variations in the stomata development rate, density and size, which are closely related to their tolerance against dehydration capabilities. Whole sets of stomata lineage genes were identified to display predicted functions in regulating stomatal development and formation. The stomata development and lineage genes were tightly regulated by light intensities and high or low temperature stresses, which affected stomata density and function. Furthermore, lower stomatal density and larger size were observed in triploid tea varieties as compared to those in diploid plant. Key stomata lineage genes such as CsSPCHs, CsSCRM, and CsFAMA showed much lower expression levels, whereas negative regulators CsEPF1 and CsYODAs had higher expression levels in triploid than in diploid tea varieties. Our study provides new insight into tea plant stomatal morphological development and the genetic regulatory mechanisms on stomata development under abiotic stresses and genetic backgrounds. The study lays a foundation for future exploring of the genetic improvement of water use efficiency in tea plants for living up to the challenge of global climate change.