Tea Plant Genome Sequencing Completed to Open Door to Tea Flavors

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In China, scientists have sequencing the genome of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, which is more complex than a coffee plant genome, to better understand the origins of the tea as well as how it is so rich in caffeine, antioxidants, and flavor. Most teas around the world like black tea, green tea, chai tea and more come from this tea plant. Researchers hope that the study will also help improve the tea plant’s flavor. Dr. Lizhi Gao of Kunming Institute of Botany, China, who led the research, told BBC, “There are many diverse flavors, but the mystery is what determines or what is the genetic basis of tea flavors?” Their hope is to use this information so producers can breed better tea, especially for the medicinal and cosmetic industries.