pp 1–16 | Cite as

Identification, expression, and putative target gene analysis of nuclear factor-Y (NF-Y) transcription factors in tea plant (Camellia sinensis)

  • Pengjie Wang
  • Yucheng Zheng
  • Yongchun Guo
  • Xuejin Chen
  • Yun Sun
  • Jiangfan YangEmail author
  • Naixing YeEmail author
Original Article


Main conclusion

Genome-wide identification and characterization of nuclear factor-Y family in tea plants, and their expression profiles and putative targets provide the basis for further elucidation of their biological functions.


The nuclear factor-Y (NF-Y) transcription factors (TFs) are crucial regulators of plant growth and physiology. However, the NF-Y TFs in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) have not yet been elucidated, and its biological functions, especially the putative target genes within the genome range, are still unclear. In this study, we identified 35 CsNF-Y encoding genes in the tea plant genome, including 10 CsNF-YAs, 15 CsNF-YBs and 10 CsNF-YCs. Their conserved domains and motifs, phylogeny, duplication event, gene structure, and promoter were subsequently analyzed. Tissue expression analysis revealed that CsNF-Ys exhibited three distinct expression patterns in eight tea tree tissues, among which CsNF-YAs were moderately expressed. Drought and abscisic acid (ABA) treatment indicated that CsNF-YAs may have a greater impact than other subunit members. Furthermore, through the genome-wide investigation of the presence of the CCAAT box, we found that CsNF-Ys may participate in the development of tea plants by regulating target genes of multiple physiological pathways, including photosynthesis, chlorophyll metabolism, fatty acid biosynthesis, and amino acid metabolism pathways. Our findings will contribute to the functional analysis of NF-Y genes in woody plants and the cultivation of high-quality tea plant cultivars.


Camellia sinensis NF-Y transcription factor Drought stress Target genes 



Nuclear factor-Y


Transcription factor


Heme activator protein


Histone-fold domain



This research was funded by the Fujian Province “2011 Collaborative Innovation Center”, Chinese Oolong Tea Industry Innovation Center (Cultivation) special project (J2015-75), the Earmarked Fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-19), and the Scientific Research Foundation of Horticulture College of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (2018B02).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Horticulture, Key Laboratory of Tea ScienceFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina

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