Cold weather is an environmental stress factor that can limit the distribution, survival, and growth of various plants.
But the study, published in the journal New Phytologist, said that increasing the concentration of aromatic substances in tea plants can enhance their resistance to cold temperatures, Xinhua reported.
Researchers from China”s Anhui Agriculture University have discovered that nerolidol, an aromatic substance accumulated in tea plants in cold weather, can be converted into a type of glucose by key gene UGT91Q2.
As the glucose is produced, it feeds the plant and is then gradually converted into other nutrients that promote plant survival and growth when the temperature drops, subsequently enhancing the plant’s cold tolerance.
The discovery might have significant potential applications in the food and cosmetics sectors, said the study’s lead researcher Song Chuankui.