The Dark-Purple Tea Cultivar 'Ziyan' Accumulates a Large Amount of Delphinidin-Related Anthocyanins.J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Apr 06; 64(13):2719-26.JA
Recently, we developed a novel tea cultivar 'Ziyan' with distinct purple leaves. There was a significant correlation between leaf color and anthocyanin pigment content in the leaves. A distinct allocation of metabolic flow for B-ring trihydroxylated anthocyanins and catechins in 'Ziyan' was observed. Delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin (88.15 mg/100 g FW in total) but no other anthocyanin pigments were detected in 'Ziyan', and delphinidin (70.76 mg/100 g FW) was particularly predominant. An analysis of the catechin content in 'Ziyan' and eight other cultivars indicated that 'Ziyan' exhibits a preference for synthesizing B-ring trihydroxylated catechins (with a proportion of 74%). The full-length cDNA sequences of flavonoid pathway genes were isolated by RNA-Seq coupled with conventional TA cloning, and their expression patterns were characterized. Purple-leaved cultivars had lower amounts of total catechins, polyphenols, and water extract than ordinary non-anthocyanin cultivars but similar levels of caffeine. Because dark-purple-leaved Camellia species are rare in nature, this study provides new insights into the interplay between the accumulations of anthocyanins and other bioactive components in tea leaves.