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'Sunrouge', a New Tea Cultivar with High Anthocyanin

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'Sunrouge' is an anthocyanin-rich tea cultivar, which was selected from the population derived from the natural crossing of 'Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6' (C. taliensis X C. sinensis). The anthocyanin content of 'Sunrouge' exceeded that of 'Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6', which was bred as an anthocyaninrich tea parental line. However the anthocyanin content of 'Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6' depends on the plucking period, growth stage and the part of the new shoot. The emergence of the 'Sunrouge' crop is moderately early, as with the Japanese leading cultivar 'Yabukita' (C.sinensis var. sinensis). The 'Sunrouge' tree is of the medium type and has many branches in comparison to typical cultivars. In terms of resistance, it is slightly resistant to anthracnose (Discula theae-sinensis (I. Miyake) Moriwaki & Toy. Sato comb. nov.), highly resistant to gray blight (Pestalotiopsis longiseta (Spegazzini) Dai & Kobayashi) and has relatively low resistance to brown blight (Glomerella cingulata (Stoneman) Spaulding & Schrenk). The survival rate of 'Sunrouge' is lower than 'Yabukita' and the other control cultivars in the cutting propagation. We try to propagate using the photoautotrophic culture method and the propagation of 'Sunrouge' was incident-free. We anticipate its use as a functional food and the material of the natural pigment.
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321
‘Sunrouge’; a New Tea Cultivar with High Anthocyanin
characteristics must be enhanced to use the anthocyanin
in tea.
Catechin in tea is known as a highly functional com-
ponent1. Both anthocyanin and catechin could be used si-
multaneously if we could develop a new tea cultivar with
high anthocyanin. Accordingly, we bred an anthocyanin-
rich parental line ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ in 200418.
However the anthocyanin content of this cultivar rapidly
declines and its growth and cultivation characteristics
were inferior as a tea plant. Therefore we aimed to breed
a tea cultivar with high anthocyanin content and ease of
cultivation.
A new anthocyanin-rich tea cultivar ‘Sunrouge’ was
bred and released in 2009. In this literature, we introduce
its characteristics.
Introduction
Anthocyanin is well known as a natural pigment in
plants such as berries22 and can be expected to have anti-
oxidant2,6 and anti-mutagenic26 actions. Efforts to develop
an anthocyanin-rich cultivar have advanced with some
crops such as the sweet potato7,21,24, potato12,13,2 5, and
rice4, 8,17,2 3 to date in Japan. The anthocyanin-rich potato
and sweet potato have been already used as raw materials
for food, drinks and brewage3,5,11,14. There is also a native
tea variety ‘Benibana-cha’ (C.sinensis var. sinensis),
which contains anthocyanin in new shoots, f lower and
roots. However ‘Benibana-cha’ is not suitable for cultiva-
tion due to its fragility and low yield. The cultivation
JARQ 46 (4), 321 – 328 (2012) htt p://www.jircas.affrc.go.jp
‘Sunrouge’, a New Tea Cultivar with High
Anthocyanin
Atsushi NESUMI1*, Akiko OGINO1, K atsu y uk i YOSHIDA1,
Fumiya TANIGUCHI1, Mari MAEDA YAMAMOTO2,
Junichi TANAKA3 and Akira MURAKAMI4
1 Makurazaki Tea Research Station, NARO Institute of Vegetables and Tea Science (NIVTS)
(Makurazaki, Kagoshima 898–0087, Japan)
2 Kanaya Tea Research Station, NIVTS (Shimada, Shizuoka 428–8501, Japan)
3 NARO Institute of Crop Science (Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–8518, Japan)
4 Nippon Paper Group, Inc., (Chiyoda, Tokyo 100 0003, Japan)
Abstract
‘Sunrouge’ is an anthocyanin-rich tea cultivar, which was selected from the population derived from
the natural crossing of ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ (C. taliensis X C. sinensis). The anthocyanin con-
tent of ‘Sunrouge’ exceeded that of ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’, which was bred as an anthocyanin-
rich tea parental line. However the anthocyanin content of ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ depends on
the plucking period, growth stage and the part of the new shoot. The emergence of the ‘Sunrouge’
crop is moderately early, as with the Japanese leading cultivar ‘Yabukita’ (C.sinensis var. sinensis).
The ‘Sunrouge’ tree is of the medium type and has many branches in comparison to typical cultivars.
In terms of resistance, it is slightly resistant to anthracnose (Discula theae-sinensis (I. Miyake) Mori-
waki & Toy. Sato comb. nov.), highly resistant to gray blight (Pestalotiopsis longiseta (Spegazzini)
Dai & Kobayashi) and has relatively low resistance to brown blight (Glomerella cingulata (Ston e-
man) Spaulding & Schrenk). The survival rate of ‘Sunrouge’ is lower than ‘Yabukita’ and the other
control cultivars in the cutting propagation. We try to propagate using the photoautotrophic culture
method and the propagation of ‘Sunrouge’ was incident-free. We anticipate its use as a functional
food and the material of the natural pigment.
Discipline: Plant breeding
Addit ional key words: camellia sinensis, camellia taliensis, cha chuukanbohon nou 6
This paper reports the results obtained in the joint project on “the Programme for Promotion of Basic and Applied Researches for In-
novations in Bio-oriented Industry” sponsored by the Minist ry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan.
*Corresponding author: e-mail nesuco@affrc.go.jp
Received 31 October 2011; accepted 6 Februar y 2012.
322 JARQ 46 (4) 2012
A. Nesumi et al.
Breeding process
The seeds derived from natural crossings of ‘Cha
Chukanbohon Nou 6’ were seeded in the green house at
the Makurazaki Tea Research Station of the NARO (Na-
tional Agriculture and Food Research Organization) in-
stitute of vegetable and tea science (NIVTS) in 2001.
Seedlings were planted in the field, and their growth and
disease resistance were investigated from 2002 to 2004.
The anthocyanin content and adaptability for photoauto-
trophic culture in individuals were determined in 2006
and 2007, and 2 individuals, ‘Makura-Ko 02-712’ (Beni-
Kou27 (progeny of ‘Benibana-cha) X Makura F1-95180
(C.taliensis X C.sinensis)) and ‘Makura-Ko 03-1384
(natural crossings of ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’
(C.taliensis X C.sinensis)), were selected in 2008 and in-
vestigated in clonal evaluation. The plants made by pho-
toautotrophic culture (cut stem with a bud and a leaf of
cuttings were cultivated in the growth room, under condi-
tions of optimal CO2, light and moisture) were used for
the clonal test. We found that ‘Makura-Ko 03-1384’ was
superior to ‘Makura-Ko 02-712’ as an anthocyanin-rich
tea cultivar, whereupon we applied to the Ministry of Ag-
riculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) as ‘Sunrouge’
on June 3, 2009. This application was published on Au-
gust 18 (Application Number: 23800) by the MAFF (Ta-
ble 1).
Morphological and cultivation characteristics
The shoot length of ‘Sunrouge’ was about the same
as ‘Yabukita’, and smaller than ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou
6’. The mature leaf was smaller than ‘Yabukita’ and ‘Cha
Chuukanbohon Nou 6’. The gloss of the mature leaves
was the same as ‘Yabukita’. The edge of the mature leaves
was slightly wavy (Fig. 1). The ‘Sunrouge’ plant had an
intermediate type shape, even though ‘Yabukita’ and
‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ were of the erect type. Its
flower was white in color, like ‘Yabukita’ and ‘Cha Chuu-
kanbohon Nou 6’.
The bud opened before ‘Yabukita’, but the plucking
took place at about the same time as the latter in the first
plucking period, while the plucking period of ‘Sunrouge’
and ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ tended to be delayed,
hence the plucking date was late (Table 2).
The growth of ‘Sunrouge’ and other comparative
cultivars and lines in the first year is shown in table 3.
The growth of ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ was vigorous
and its tree form was seemingly of the longitudinal type
like C.taliensis. The height and width of ‘Sunrouge’ ex-
ceeded those of ‘Yabukita’, ‘Makura-Ko 02-712’ and
Fig. 1. Characteristics of new shoot and mature leaf
a: New shoot of first crop in April.
b: New shoot of fourth crop in September.
c: Mature leaf in September.
Table 1. ‘Sunrouge’ breeding process
Breeding process Ye a r
Collection of seedlings from ‘Cha chuukanbohon nou 6’ 20 01
Raising seedlings in the greenhouse 20 01
Planting in the field & individual selection 2002
Screening by anthocyanin content 2006
Adaptability to photoautotrophic culture 2007
Nursery test 2008
Clonal test 2008
Apply for variety registration 2009
323
‘Sunrouge’; a New Tea Cultivar with High Anthocyanin
‘Benibana-cha’. Moreover, the plant was of the crosswise
type compared with ‘Yabukita’ and ‘Makura-Ko 02-712’.
As with ‘Yabukita’, very few ‘Sunrouge’ trees died after
being planted in the field, nor were any symptoms of an-
thracnose and gray blight seen there. However, brown
blight was commonplace (Table 3). An inoculation test of
resistance to anthracnose and gray blight was performed
on ‘Sunrouge’ and ‘Yabukita’. Based on the results, we
judged the disease resistance of ‘Sunrouge’ as follows.
Resistance to anthracnose is slightly high, gray blight is
high and brown blight is slightly low.
The yield of fresh leaves in the first, second and
third plucking periods were investigated in 2011. Conse-
quently, the yield of ‘Sunrouge’ seemed to exceed that of
‘Yabukita’ but be less than ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’
(Table 4). The yield of fresh leaves in the first, second and
third plucking periods of ‘Sunrouge’ was 5038 kg/ha,
hence the annual yield of dry matter weight was antici-
pated to exceed 1000 kg/ha.
The length of the new ‘Sunrouge’ shoot in the first
and second plucking periods showed no significant dif-
ference compared with ‘Yabukita’ and ‘Cha Chuukanbo-
hon Nou 6’. However, during the third plucking period,
‘Sunrouge’ was shorter (Table 5). There were numerous
leaves per bud of ‘Sunrouge’ during the first and second
plucking periods, but few in the third plucking period
(Table 6).
Component characteristics
The contents of anthocyanins, catechins and caf-
feine in tea leaves were analyzed by high-performance
liquid chromatography (HPLC) in 2010 and 2011. The an-
thocyanin content of ‘Sunrouge’ was found to exceed that
of the other cultivar in both years and throughout all
plucking periods. However, the content ratio differed de-
Table 2. Bud opening and plucked dates in 2010 and 2011
Cultivar Ye a r Time bud opened
in the first crop period
Plucked date
First Second Third
Sunrouge 2010 -20-Apr 14-Jun 20-Jul
2011 18-M a r 22-Apr 23-Jun 2-Aug
Cha Cuukanbohon Nou 6 2010 -13-Apr 14-Jun 20-Jul
2011 12-Mar 12-Apr 22-Jun 1-Aug
Ya bu k i t a 2010 -19-Ap r 7-Jun 16-Jul
2011 22-Mar 21-Ap r 16-Jun 22-Jul
The date of upper column was investigated in 2010 and the sub-column was investigated in 2011.
The plants were planted in March, 2008.
Table 3. Growth and disease resistance to anthracnose and Brown blight in young tea plants
Cultivar / line Height (cm) Width (cm) Rate of dead
pla nt s (%)
Shape of
plant
Vigor of
plant
Disease resistance
Anthracnose G ray blight Brown blight
Sunrouge 47. 8±4. 2 a52.2±4.1 a1.7±0.6 a5.0 7.0 8.0 ( 6.0mm) 7.0 (3. 5mm) 4.7
Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6 54.1±1.7 a41.6±2 .1 b10.0±2.0 a4.0 6.7 8.0 ( ) 7.0 ( ) 4.0
Ya bu k i t a 43.9±3.3 b35.1± 2.0 bc 0 a 3.0 5.0 3.7 (18.4mm) 3.0 (7.1mm) 6.0
Ma k u r a-Ko 0 2-712 46.1±0.8 ab 34.4±2.5 c36.7±3.2 b4.7 4.3 8.0 - 3.3
Benibana-cha 36.1±1.0 c2 3.7±1.3 d11.7±0. 6 a4.0 3.0 6.7 -4.0
The investigation was car ried out on October 27, 2008, one year after the plant had been planted in the field.
Average of three replications (mean±SD).
Values followed by the same letters do not differ significantly (Turkey, P<0.05).
Value of shape and vigor of plants are based on ‘Shubyo Tokusei Bunrui Chosa Kijun’. Shape : 2 (very erect) - 5 (medium) - 8 (very
spread). Vigor : 2 (very weak) - 5 (medium) - 8 (very strong). Disease resistance : 2 (very low) -5 (medium) - 8 (very high).
Resistance to Anthracnose and Gray blight : The value in ( ) shows the length of lesion by inoculation test.
324 JARQ 46 (4) 2012
A. Nesumi et al.
pending on the plucking period, and the first plucking pe-
riod was lower than that of the second and third plucking
periods (Table 7). Although the catechin content in ‘Sun-
rouge’ was less than that in ‘Yabukita’, it exceeded that in
‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ in both years and throughout
all plucking periods (Table 7). The caffeine content in
‘Sunrouge’ and ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ tended to ex-
ceed that of ‘Yabukita’ (Table 7).
The chemical ingredients of fresh tea leaves may
change when they are stored for an extended period till
parching after being plucked. The inf luence of the stor-
age time of fresh leaves on the chemical components (an-
thocyanin, catechin and caffeine) was investigated in the
first plucking period in 2010. The anthocyanin and cate-
chin contents of fresh leaves in ‘Sunrouge’ were un-
changed when kept at ambient temperature for 14 hours
after 8 hours’ cooling in the refrigerator, while the caf-
feine content increased after treatment (Table 8). The
changes in the anthocyanin content of fresh leaves in
‘Sunrouge’ left for 8 hours in the room (at an ambient
temperature of about 25˚C) were investigated in the third
plucking period in 2010. Consequently, the anthocyanin
content in ‘Sunrouge’ showed almost no change (Fig. 2).
Anthocyanins, catechins and caffeine contents in
each leaf order of ‘Sunrouge’ were measured for the first
crop in 2009 and the second in 2011. The anthocyanin
content of the upper-order exceeded that of the lower-or-
der, and this tendency was more remarkable in the second
crop rather than the first. Moreover, the anthocyanin con-
tent in the stem exceeded that of the third leaf in the first
crop (Fig. 3). The catechin content of the upper-order ex-
ceeded that of the lower-order, and likewise for the antho-
cyanin content, but terminal buds showed high content,
which peaked in the second crop. The content in the sec-
ond crop clearly exceeded that of the first crop (Fig. 4).
The caffeine content, as with catechin, was dependent on
the leaf-order, even though no clear difference emerged
between the first and second crops (Fig. 5).
Japanese green tea is usually manufactured using a
tea manufacturing machine, which incorporates some
drying process. The inf luence of the drying process on
the content of anthocyanin of the first crop in ‘Sunrouge’
was investigated in 2010. Consequently, anthocyanin
Table 4. Yield in first, second and third pluck ing periods
Cultivar Yield of plucked fresh leaves (kg/ha) Amount
First Second Third
Sunrouge 1031±36 0 217 0 ±791 18 37±9 9 7 a 5038
Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6 106 48 5 2797±770 3333±545 a 7193
Ya bu k i t a 1210±208 2266 ±275 1489± 80 b 4965
The investigation was car ried out in 2011.
The tea trees were 4 years old.
An average of three replications (mean±SD) was conducted.
Values followed by the same letters do not differ significantly (Tukey, P<0.05).
Harvesting was carried out by the plucking machine.
Table 5. Length of new shoots during each crop season
Cultivar Leng t h (c m)
First Second Third
Sunrouge 4.36 ±0. 21 5.27± 0.87 4.15± 0.35 a
Cha Chuukanbohon
Nou 6 4.22±0.53 4.72±0.52 5.98±0.86 b
Ya bu k i t a 5.4 4±0.91 5.80±0.48 5.7 0.56 b
The investigation was car ried out in 2011.
An average of three replications (mean±SD).
Values followed by the same letters do not differ significantly
(Tu key, P<0. 0 5 ).
Sampling of new shoots was carried out by shear plucking.
Table 6. The leaf totals of a new shoot in each crop season
Cultivar Number of leaves/shoot
First Second Third
Sunrouge 3.1±0.2 a 3.4±0.4 a 3.0 ±0.1 a
Cha Chuukanbohon
Nou 6 2.7±0.1 b 2.7±0.1 b 3.4±0.1 b
Ya bu k i t a 3.1±0.2 b 3.3± 0.1 b 3.5±0.1 b
The investigation was car ried out in 2011.
An average of three replications (mean±SD).
Values followed by the same letters do not differ significantly
(Tu key, P<0. 0 5 ).
Sampling of new shoots was carried out by shear plucking.
325
‘Sunrouge’; a New Tea Cultivar with High Anthocyanin
content in ‘Sunrouge’ was not changed by the drying pro-
cess (Fig. 6).
The level of caffeine in tea leaves is known to have
been reduced by hot water treatment9. We also investigat-
ed the inf luence of the hot water treatment on the content
of anthocyanins, catechins and caffeine of ‘Sunrouge’ in
the first crop in 2010. Consequently, anthocyanin and cat-
echin in ‘Sunrouge’ were found to be unchanged, regard-
Table 7. Anthocyanin, catechin and caffeine contents in 2010 and 2011
Components Cha Chuu kanbohon Nou 6 Ye a r Content rate (%DB)
First Second Third
Anthocyanin
Sunrouge
2010
0.086±0.006 a 0.133 ±0.003 a 0. 217 ±0.10 9 a
Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6 0.075 ±0.006 b 0.097 ±0.007 b 0.109 ±0.009 b
Ya bu k i t a 0.009 ±0.001 c 0. 010 ±0.002 c 0. 016 ±0.003 c
Sunrouge
2011
0.089±0.0 01 a 0.207 ±0.047 a -
Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6 0.081 ±0.008 a 0.144 ±0.016 a -
Ya bu k i t a 0.000±0.000 b 0.002 ±0.0 01 b -
Catechin
Sunrouge
2010
12.2 ±0.4 c 12.0 ±0.0 b 14. 9 ±0.9 c
Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6 10.4 ±0.1 b 11.1 ±0.1 b 12.7 ±0.3 c
Ya bu k i t a 13.7 ±0.3 a 17. 5 ±0.8 a 18. 5 ±0.8 a
Sunrouge
2011
12.1 ±0.1 a 12.6 ±0.7 a -
Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6 9.7±0.5 b 11. 2 ±0.3 b -
Ya bu k i t a 14.9 ±0.2 c 18.6 ±0.4 c -
Caffeine
Sunrouge
2010
3.02 ±0.05 a 2.40 ±0.07 ab 2.99 ±0.27
Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6 2.93±0.02 a 2.14 ±0.07 c 2.79 ±0.11
Ya bu k i t a 2.50±0.07 b 2.25 ±0.07 bc 2.63±0.14
Sunrouge
2011
3.39 ±0.04 a 2.74 ±0.08 a -
Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6 3.49±0.11 a 2.49 ±0.15 a -
Ya bu k i t a 3.10 ±0.03 b 2.20 ±0.07 b -
The investigation of anthocyanin, catechin and caffeine was carried out in 2010 and 2011.
The compound value was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
An average of three replications (mean±SD).
Values followed by the same letters do not differ significantly (Tukey, P<0.05).
Sampling of new shoots was carried by the shear plucking.
Table 8. Influence of the period from plucking to parching to the content of anthocyanin, catechin
and caffeine in ‘Sunrouge’
Treatment content rate (%DB)
Anthocyanin Catechin Caffeine
Cont. 0.081±0.009 11.731± 0.618 2.952±0.095
Left in the room 0.079±0.016 12 .104±1.10 9 3.15 4±0. 217
n.s. n.s. *
* means differing significantly (Tukey, P<0.05).
Average of eight replications (mean±SD).
Sampling of the new shoots was car ried out by the tea plucker.
The investigation of anthocyanin, catechin and caffeine was carried out on April 20, 2010.
The compound values were analyzed by high-perfor mance liquid chromatography (HPLC) .
Treatment samples were left in the room for 14 hours after cooling for 8 hours in the refrigerator (7˚C).
Control samples were parched soon after plucking.
326 JARQ 46 (4) 2012
A. Nesumi et al.
Fig. 2. Influence of the keeping time of fresh leaves on
anthocyanin content in ‘Sunrouge’
: content rate of anthocyanin (%DB).
Fig. 3. Anthocyanin contnent according to the leaf order
: First crop in 2009, : Second crop in 2011.
Fig. 4. Catechin contnent according to the leaf order in
‘Sunrouge’
: First crop in 2009, : Second crop in 2011.
Fig. 5. Caffeine contnent according to the leaf order in
‘Sunrouge’
: First crop in 2009, : Second crop in 2011.
Fig. 8. Influence of hot water treatment on catechin
content in ‘Sunrouge’
The control sample was dried after parching.
Fig. 6. Influence of the drying process on the anthocyanin
content in ‘Sunrouge’
A tea manufacturing machine of the 2kg type was
used.
The control sample was dried after parching.
Fig. 7. Influence of hot water treatment on anthocyanin
content in ‘Sunrouge’
The control sample was dried after parching.
Fig. 9. Influence of hot water treatment on caffeine
content in ‘Saunrouge’
Values followed by different letters differ signifi-
ca n tly.
327
‘Sunrouge’; a New Tea Cultivar with High Anthocyanin
less of treatment time, but the caffeine content declined
with increasing treatment time (Figs. 7, 8, 9).
Discussion
We commenced the development of high anthocyan-
in tea in 199318. Subsequently, ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou
6’ was bred as a high anthocyanin tea cultivar in 2004,
and registered to protect the rights of the breeder based
on the Seed and Seedlings Law in 2008. The anthocyanin
content in ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ exceeded that of
the native red leaf tea variety ‘Benibana-cha’, but ‘Cha
Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ was not suitable for Japanese tea
cultivation, because some of its characteristics resembled
those of the mother parent C.taliensis. For example, the
arboreal tree shape, large leaf size, strong apical domi-
nance and scarcity of shoots. Therefore, we selected indi-
viduals resembling Japanese tea cultivars from open pol-
linated seedlings of ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ planted
in the tea field and targeted a tea breeding cultivar with
both anthocyanin and catechin.
We selected some individuals with high anthocyanin
from the progeny of ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 6’ or
‘Benibana-cha’. However, the growth of these cuttings in
the cutting bed was poor and the photoautotrophic cul-
ture method is known to be effective in plants having dif-
ficulty in cuttings15. Accordingly, we used rooted cuttings
made using the photoautotrophic culture method for the
clonal test.
‘Sunrouge’ was bred as a tea cultivar for use as a
functional ingredient rather than a green tea drink. The
color of the resulting tea was blackish, its taste bitter, and
the color of the liquor blackish with a neutral pH and
pinkish or reddish when in an acidic pH condition. When
used as a pigment extraction material, the anthocyanin
must be extracted under acidic conditions.
Caffeine is known as a tea plant ingredient with con-
siderable functionality, including its ability to promote
wakefulness and cardiotonic action. Conversely, low-caf-
feine tea is demanded by many sensitive to caffeine, in-
cluding babies and sick people. No caffeine-free tea culti-
var has yet been raised in Japan, although a study on the
breeding of reduced-caffeine tea has been carried for-
ward in the NARO institute of vegetable and tea science19.
‘Sunrouge’ contains caffeine equivalent to other tea culti-
vars. However, in a product used by so many people, the
level of caffeine must be reduced, hence a low caffeine
processing machine has already been developed10. The
result of this study suggested that we could produce low-
caffeine ‘Sunrouge’ using a low caffeine processing ma-
chine.
The anthocyanin content varied from about 0.08 to
0.22%DB with the plucking period (Table 7), and 0.15 to
0.56%DB with the leaf order in the second crop (Fig. 3).
This result shows that the plucking period and method
are key for the anthocyanin yield. It is necessary to devel-
op a method to judge the optimum plucking time.
Tea plants may f lourish for dozens of years after be-
ing planted in the field and almost all the work involved
in cultivation and processing can be mechanized in Ja-
pan. Therefore, ‘Sunrouge’ is considered suitable as a
crop using anthocyanins. In addition, ‘Sunrouge’ also
contains catechins like other tea cultivars. The anthocya-
nins in ‘Sunrouge’ have already been isolated20 and their
functional activities are under investigation. We expect
that ‘Sunrouge’ will make a contribution to human health.
We developed a parental line of high catechin tea en-
titled ‘Cha Chuukanbohon Nou 3’ in 199816. Breeding a
new cultivar with high anthocyanins, high catechins and
low caffeine is our future objective.
Acknowledgments
The authors thank Ms. Yoshiko Tokuda and Kaori
Ema for their assistance in analyzing the anthocyanin
contents.
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... 'Ziyan' 17 in China, cv. 'Sunrouge' in Japan, 18 and cv. 'TRFK 306' in Kenya 12 are among the commercialized germplasms. ...
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