Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 555–570 | Cite as

Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Development of a SCAR Marker for Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) Cultivars in Zhejiang Province: The Most Famous Green Tea-Producing Area in China

  • Yan-Xia Xu
  • Si-Yan Shen
  • Wei Chen
  • Liang ChenEmail author
Original Article


Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze is one of the most important non-alcoholic beverage crops in Asian and African countries. In recent years, many green tea cultivars have been released and played an important role in improving the production and quality of tea trees. The objectives of this study were to assess the genetic diversity of the eighteen main green tea cultivars in Zhejiang Province—the most famous green tea-producing area of China—using start codon-targeted (SCoT) markers and to develop a specific sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) marker for application in cultivar diagnosis. Thirty-one SCoT primers produced 264 loci, 226 of which were polymorphic. The genetic similarity coefficients among these green tea cultivars ranged from 0.587 to 0.814, indicating that a high level of genetic diversity was present. Both a UPGMA dendrogram and a PCoA plot grouped the tea cultivars into three groups. The partitioning of groups in the UPGMA and PCoA was similar, and much of the clustering was highly consistent with the classification of tea cultivars according to their genetic backgrounds. A unique SCoT band, SCoT4-1649, specific to the tea cultivar ‘Yingshuang,’ was transformed into a SCAR marker. This SCAR marker is highly useful for the identification and germplasm conservation of green tea cultivars.


Tea plant Varieties SCoT marker Genetic diversity SCAR marker 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31600562), the Central Public-interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund (No.1610212018013), the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences through the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (CAAS-ASTIP-2017-TRICAAS), and the Earmarked Fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-019).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Center for Tea Improvement, Tea Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/ Key Laboratory of Tea Biology and Resources UtilizationMinistry of AgricultureHangzhouChina

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