Aluminum induced physiological and proteomic responses in tea (Camellia sinensis) roots and leaves

Plant Physiol Biochem. 2017 Jun;115:141-151. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2017.03.017. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze), is an aluminum (Al) hyperaccumulator and grows well in acid soils. Although Al-induced growth of tea plant has been studied, the proteomic profiles of tea plants in response to Al are unclear. In the present study, the proteomic profiles in tea roots and leaves under Al stress were investigated using iTRAQ proteomics approach. In total, 755 and 1059 differentially expressed proteins were identified in tea roots and leaves, respectively. KEGG enrichment analysis showed that the differentially expressed proteins in roots were mainly involved in 11 pathways whereas those from leaves were mainly involved in 9 pathways. Abundance of most protein functions in glycolytic metabolism were enhanced in tea roots, and proteins involved in photosynthesis were stimulated in tea leaves. The protein ferulate-5-hydroxylase (F5H) in lignin biosynthetic pathway was down-regulated in both roots and leaves. Furthermore, antioxidant enzymes (ascorbate peroxidase, catalase and glutathione S-transferase) and citrate synthesis were accumulated in tea roots in response to Al. The results indicated that active photosynthesis and glycolysis as well as increased activities of antioxidant enzymes can be considered as a possible reason for the stimulatory effects of Al on the growth of tea plants. Additionally, the down-regulation of F5H and the binding of Al and phenolic acids may reduce the accumulation of lignin.

Keywords: Aluminum sulfate; Camellia sinensis (L.) O. kuntze; Phenylpropanoid metabolism; Photosynthesis; iTRAQ proteomic.

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum / chemistry
  • Aluminum / toxicity*
  • Camellia sinensis / drug effects*
  • Camellia sinensis / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects*
  • Plant Leaves / drug effects*
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / drug effects*
  • Plant Roots / physiology
  • Proteomics
  • Soil / chemistry


  • Plant Proteins
  • Soil
  • Aluminum