Plant Biol (Stuttg) 2005; 7(2): 168-175
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-837472
Research Paper

Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart KG · New York

Flavanols in Somatic Cell Division and Male Meiosis of Tea (Camellia sinensis) Anthers

W. Feucht1 , D. Treutter1 , H. Dithmar2 , J. Polster2
  • 1Department für Pflanzenwissenschaften, Fachgebiet Obstbau, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan (WZW), Technische Universität München, 85350 Freising, Germany
  • 2Department für Biowissenschaftliche Grundlagen, Fachgebiet Physikalische Biochemie (Lehrstuhl für Biologische Chemie), Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan (WZW), Technische Universität München, 85350 Freising, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Received: September 22, 2004

Accepted: December 9, 2004

Publication Date:
09 February 2005 (online)


Young anthers excised from closed tea flower buds (Camellia sinensis L.) were stained as fresh tissues with p-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde reagent to localize flavanols associated with nuclei and chromosomes, apart from those flavanols stored in vacuoles. This staining reagent yields a blue colour for flavanols. In the nonsporogenic somatic cells of developing anthers, flavanols were found to be attached to chromosomes at all mitotic stages. Male meiosis started at a bud size of about 3.5 mm in diameter in pollen mother cells which displayed generally more or less pronounced blue nuclei and cytoplasm. The meiotic divisions from prophase I to telophase II were characterized by blue stained nuclei and chromosomes, but within the cytoplasm there was, if any, a random and very poor reaction for flavanols. Metaphase and telophase of meiotic divisions showed maximally condensed chromosomes staining dark blue. Early in telophase II, the cytoplasm was again stained blue; this faded at late tetrad stage. Flavanols of young mitotic and older non-mitotic anthers were determined using high pressure liquid chromatography - chemical reaction detection (HPLC-CRD). Catechin, epicatechin, B2, and epigallocatechin were minor compounds, whereas epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin gallate were found in higher amounts. The major flavanol compound of the anthers, epicatechin gallate, exhibited a significant affinity to histone sulphate, as shown by UV-VIS spectroscopic titration.


  • 1 Batygina T. B.. Embryology of Flowering Plants. Generative Organs of Flowers. Enfield, NH, USA; Science Publishers, Inc (2002)
  • 2 Bedinger P. A., Edgerton M. D.. Developmental staying of maize microspores reveals a transition in developing microspore proteins.  Plant Physiology. (1990);  92 474-479
  • 3 Chang D. Y., Miksche J. P., Dhillon S. S.. DNA changes involving repeated sequences in senescing soybean (Glycine max) cotyledon nuclei.  Physiologia Plantarum. (1985);  64 409-417
  • 4 Feucht W., Treutter D., Christ E.. Flavanols in grape vine: in vitro accumulation and defence reactions in shoots.  Vitis. (1996);  35 113-118
  • 5 Feucht W., Treutter D.. Principles and Practices in Chemical Ecology. Inderjit, K. M., Dakshi, M., and Foy, C. L., eds. Boca Raton; CRC Press (1999): 307-338
  • 6 Feucht W., Polster J.. Nuclei of plants as sinks for flavanols.  Zeitschrift für Naturforschung. (2001);  56c 479-481
  • 7 Feucht W., Treutter D., Polster J.. Flavanol binding specifity of nuclei from tree species.  Plant Cell Reports. (2004 a);  22 430-436
  • 8 Feucht W., Dithmar H., Polster J.. Nuclei of tea flowers as targets for flavanols.  Plant Biology. (2004 b);  6 696-701
  • 9 Francis D.. Protein kinases in the cell cycle - an overview. Shewry, P. R., Halford, N. G., and Hooley, R., eds. Protein Phosphorylation in Plants. Oxford; Oxford Science, Oxford Press (1996): 155-167
  • 10 Görlich D.. Transport between the cell nucleus and the cytoplasm.  Reviews on Cell Biology. (1999);  15 607-660
  • 11 Haslam E.. Practical Polyphenolics, From Structure to Molecular Recognition and Physiological Action. Cambridge University Press (1998)
  • 12 Imoto T.. Stabilization of proteins.  Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. (1997);  53 215-223
  • 13 Losada. A., Hirano M., Hirano T.. Cohesin release is required for sister chromatid resolution, but not for condensin-mediated compaction, at the onset of mitosis.  Genes and Development. (2002);  16 3004-3016
  • 14 Luger K., Mäder A. W., Richmond R. K., Sargent D. F., Richmond T. J.. Crystal structure of the nucleosome core particle at 2.8 Å resolution.  Nature. (1997);  389 251-260
  • 15 Lux-Endrich A., Treutter D., Feucht W.. Influence of nutrients and carbohydrate supply on the phenol composition of apple shoot cultures.  Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture. (2000);  60 15-21
  • 16 Napoli C. A., Fahy D., Wang H.-Y., Taylor L. P.. White anther. A petunia mutant that abolishes pollen flavonol accumulation, induces male sterility, and is complemented by chalcone synthase transgene.  Plant Physiology. (1999);  120 615-622
  • 17 Polster J., Dithmar H., Feucht W.. Are histones the targets for flavan-3-ols (catechins) in nuclei?.  Biological Chemistry. (2003);  384 997-1006
  • 18 Polster J., Lachmann H.. Spectrometric Titrations. Weinheim, Germany; VCH Verlagsgesellschaft (1989)
  • 19 Punyasiri P. A. N., Abeysinghe I. S. B., Kumar V., Treutter D., Duy D., Gosch C., Martens S., Forkmann G., Fischer T. C.. Flavonoid biosynthesis in the tea plant Camellia sinensis: properties of enzymes of the prominent epicatechin and catechin pathways.  Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. (2004);  422 91-102
  • 20 Quimby B. B., Corbett A. H.. Nuclear transport mechanisms.  Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. (2001);  58 1766-1773
  • 21 Raghavan V.. Developmental Biology of Flowering Plants. Heidelberg; Springer (2000)
  • 22 Rice-Evans C. A., Miller N. J., Panganga G.. Structure-antioxidant activity relationships of flavonoids and phenolic acids.  Free Radical Biology and Medicine. (1996);  20 933-956
  • 23 Roemmelt S., Zimmermann N., Rademacher W., Treutter D.. Formation of novel flavonoids in apple (Malus × domestica) treated with the 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase inhibitor prohexadion-Ca.  Phytochemistry. (2003);  64 709-716
  • 24 Santos-Buelga C., Scalbert A.. Procyanidins and tannin-like compounds: nature, occurrence, dietary intake and effects on nutrition and health.  Journal of Food Science and Agriculture. (2000);  80 1094-1117
  • 25 Siebert K. J., Troukhanova N. V., Lynn P. Y.. Nature of polyphenol-protein interactions.  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. (1996);  44 80-85
  • 26 Sims R. J., Nishioka K., Reinberg D.. Histone lysine methylation: a signature for chromatin function.  Trends in Genetics. (2003);  19 629-639
  • 27 Sussex I. M., Kerk N. M.. The organization and function of plant meristems. Mcmanus, M. T. and Veit, B. E., eds. Meristematic Tissues in Plant Growth and Development. Sheffield; Academic Press (2002): 1-14
  • 28 Treutter D.. Chemical reaction detection of catechins and proanthocyanidins with 4-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde.  Journal of Chromatography. (1989);  467 185-193
  • 29 Treutter D., Santos-Buelga C., Gutmann M., Kolodziej H.. Identification of flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins by HPLC and chemical reaction detection.  Journal of Chromatography A. (1994);  667 290-297
  • 30 Treutter D.. Biosynthesis of phenolic compounds and its regulation in apple.  Plant Growth Regulation. (2001);  34 71-89
  • 31 Zhu M., Chen Y., Li R. C.. Oral absorption and bioavailability of tea catechins.  Planta Medica. (2000);  66 444-447

W. Feucht

Department für Pflanzenwissenschaften
Fachgebiet Obstbau
Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan (WZW)
Technische Universität München

Alte Akademie 16

85350 Freising


Editor: E. Pichersky