Metabolite Profiling and Transcriptome Analysis Revealed the Conserved Transcriptional Regulation Mechanism of Caffeine Biosynthesis in Tea and Coffee Plants
Yanrui Zhang, Jiamin Fu, Qiying Zhou, Fangdong Li, Yihua Shen, Zhili Ye, Dingkun Tang, Ning Chi, Lanqing Li, Shuyu Ma, Mallano Ali Inayat, Tieying Guo, Jian Zhao,* and Penghui Li*
J. Agric. Food Chem
Caffeine is a characteristic bioactive compound in tea and coffee plants, which is synthesized and accumulated extensively in leaves and seeds. However, little is known about the regulatory mechanism of caffeine synthesis in plants. This study compared the caffeine metabolite between tea and coffee plants. We found that tea leaves contained significantly higher caffeine than coffee leaves, which is perhaps due to more members of N-methyltransferase (NMT) genes as well as higher expression levels in tea plants. Substantial numbers of transcription factors were predicted to be involved in caffeine biosynthesis regulation, combining weighted gene co-expression network analysis and the cis-element of NMT promoter analysis in tea and coffee plants. Furthermore, analysis of the transcription factors from the caffeine-related modules suggested that the regulatory mechanism of caffeine biosynthesis was probably partly conservative in tea and coffee plants. This study provides an essential resource for the regulatory mechanism of caffeine biosynthesis in plants.