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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #310155

Title: Identification of the varietal origin of loose leaf tea based on analysis of a single leaf by SNP nanofluidic array

item FANG, WAN-PING - Nanjing Agricultural University
item Meinhardt, Lyndel
item TAN, HUA-WEI - Nanjing Agricultural University
item ZHOU, LIN - Nanjing Agricultural University
item WANG, XING-HUA - Yunnan Agricultural University
item Mischke, Barbara
item Zhang, Dapeng

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2015
Publication Date: 3/31/2016
Citation: Fang, W., Meinhardt, L.W., Tan, H., Zhou, L., Wang, X., Mischke, B.S., Zhang, D. 2016. Identification of the varietal origin of loose leaf tea based on analysis of a single leaf by SNP nanofluidic array. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. doi: 10.1016/j.cj.2016.02.001.

Interpretive Summary: Tea is an economically important perennial crop cultivated in more than 50 countries. With an annual production of 4.7 million tons, tea represents a $40 billion-a-year global market. A highly reproducible method to authenticate premium tea products is critically important to ensure traceability and authentication of specialty tea products, which in turn contribute to on-farm conservation of tea genetic diversity. Using a nanofluidic DNA genotyping system, we developed a protocol for tea varietal identification based on a single leaf of commercial tea products, including green, black, oolong and Pu-erh teas. This method provides a powerful tool for variety authentication and quality control for the tea industry. It’s also highly useful for the management of tea genetic resources and breeding, where accurate and efficient varietal identification is essential. This information will be used by researchers, tea producers and tea industry to accurately determine varietal authenticity.

Technical Abstract: Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O Kuntze] is an economically important crop cultivated in more than 50 countries. Production and marketing of premium specialty tea products provides opportunities for tea growers, the tea industry and consumers. Rapid market segmentation in the tea industry has resulted in increasing demand for sustainably and responsibly produced tea products. Authentication by SNP-based DNA methods is important for protection and value enhancement of good-quality brands. A Proof of Principle study tested identity with DNA extracted from a single leaf of 14 tea products including green, black and Oolong. A nanofluidic array determined variant SNP sequences. Based on profiles of 60 SNP markers, genetic identity of each tea sample was unambiguously identified by multi-locus matching and ordination analysis. This protocol allows tea products to be traced through the production chain back to the original variety. The technique is robust and cost-effective, demonstrating significant potential for practical application.