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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00179

Terpenoid Esters Are the Major Constituents from Leaf Lipid Droplets of Camellia sinensis

  • 1Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China
  • 2University of Missouri, United States
  • 3Tea Research Institute, Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China

Lipid droplets (LDs) have been widely found from diverse species and exhibit diverse functions. It remains unexplored what potential roles they played in tea. To address this question, we analyzed the chemical composition and the dynamic changes of cytosolic LDs during leaf growth and diurnal cycle. Using TopFluor cholesterol and Nile Red staining we demonstrated that cytosolic LDs were heterogeneous in tea tree (Camellia sinensis cv Tieguanyin); the size and number of LDs increased with leaf growth. Compositional analysis showed that terpenoid esters and diacylglycerol are the major components of cytosolic LDs. The contents of total sterol esters (SEs) and β-amyrin esters increased with leaf expansion and growth; individual SE also showed diurnal changes. Our data suggest that cytosolic LDs from tea tree leave mainly serve as storage site for free sterols and triterpenoids in the form of esters. Cytosolic LDs were not the major contributors to the aroma quality of made tea.

Keywords: Camellia sinensis, lipid droplets, Neutral lipids, Sterol esters, Triterpenoid esters, CsPSAT1, CsHMGRs, CsAST1

Received: 06 Dec 2018; Accepted: 05 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Kazufumi Yazaki, Kyoto University, Japan

Reviewed by:

Milton B. Traw, Nanjing University, China
Takashi L. Shimada, Chiba University, Japan  

Copyright: © 2019 Chen, Zhou, Chen, Du, Zhang, Kong, Thelen and Chen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Mingjie Chen, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, China, chenmj@fafu.edu.cn