2004 年 54 巻 3 号 p. 231-237
We used RFLP analysis with phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) cDNA as a probe to evaluate the genetic diversity of the Korean tea plant (Camellia sinensis var. sinensis). We analyzed 297 plants collected from the grounds of 6 old temples and from 1 tea farm. The patterns of DNA fragments in plants from the 6 temples were variable and differed from those of Japanese teas. In Japanese teas the PAL locus is composed of 3 multi-fragment alleles, but at least 10 fragment alleles were apparent in the Korean teas. The Korean teas showed greater genetic diversity than Japanese teas. The RFLP patterns of all 12 samples taken from the tea farm, where Japanese tea seeds had been introduced historically, were the same as those of the Japanese teas. The Korean teas were divided into 2 different genetic groups; one group was found around old temples and was probably derived from China. The other originated from Japanese teas that were introduced 50 to 100 years ago. RFLP analysis using PAL cDNA was very useful for the detection of genetic diversity in Korean teas, because the results of this analysis were similar to those of previous RAPD and morphological studies and were able to reveal the existence of the 2 tea groups. Our results showed that not only several morphological characters, but also the genetic background of Korean teas, differed from those of Japanese teas. Although further evaluation of Korean teas as genetic resources is required, it is possible that Korean teas will prove useful in Japanese tea breeding.