Secrets of tea plant revealed by science

2017-05-02 15:54:59
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Botanists have unlocked the genetic secrets of the plant prized for producing tea.

A team in China has decoded the genetic building blocks of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, whose leaves are used for all types of tea, including black, green and oolong.

The research gives an insight into the chemicals that give tea its flavour.

Until now, little has been known about the genetics of the plant, despite its huge economic and cultural importance.

"There are many diverse flavours, but the mystery is what determines or what is the genetic basis of tea flavours?" said plant geneticist Lizhi Gao of Kunming Institute of Botany, China, who led the research.

"Together with the construction of genetic maps and new sequencing technologies, we are working on an updated tea tree genome that will investigate some of the flavour."


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