Background: White leaf No.1 is a typical albino tea cultivar grown in China and it has received increased attention in recent years due to the fact that white leaves containing a high level of amino acids, which are very important components affecting the quality of tea drink. According to the color of its leaves, the development of this tea cultivar is divided into three stages: the pre-albinistic stage, the albinistic stage and the regreening stage. To understand the intricate mechanism of periodic albinism, a comparative proteomic approach based on two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and mass spectrometry was adopted first time to identify proteins that changed in abundance during the three developmental periods.Results: The 2-DE results showed that the expression level of 61 protein spots varied markedly during the three developmental stages. To analyze the functions of the significantly differentially expressed protein spots, 30 spots were excised from gels and analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight-tandem mass spectrometry. Of these, 26 spots were successfully identified. All identified protein spots were involved in metabolism of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur, photosynthesis, protein processing, stress defense and RNA processing, indicating these physiological processes may play crucial roles in the periodic albinism. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis was used to assess the transcriptional level of differentially expressed proteins. In addition, the ultrastructural studies revealed that the etioplast-chloroplast transition in the leaf cell of White leaf No. 1 was inhibited and the grana in the chloroplast was destroyed at the albinistic stage.Conclusions: In this work, the proteomic analysis revealed that some proteins may have important roles in the molecular events involved in periodic albinism of White leaf No. 1 and identificated many attractive candidates for further investigation. In addition, the ultrastructural studies revealed that the change in leaf color of White leaf No. 1 might be a consequence of suppression of the etioplast-chloroplast transition and damage to grana in the chloroplast induced by temperature. These results provide much useful information to improve our understanding of the mechanism of albinism in the albino tea cultivar. © 2011 Li et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Li, Q., Huang, J., Liu, S., Li, J., Yang, X., Liu, Y., & Liu, Z. (2011). Proteomic analysis of young leaves at three developmental stages in an albino tea cultivar. Proteome Science, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-5956-9-44