Gene find could yield decaffeinated plants | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Gene find could yield decaffeinated plants

By
11:03am, June 16, 2003

An international team has succeeded in cloning one of tea's genes for making caffeine—a step toward creating decaf tea and coffee plants.

The gene, TCS1, codes for caffeine synthase, the enzyme that controls the final two steps in the molecule's four-step synthesis, explain Misako Kato and Hiroshi Ashihara of Ochanomizu University in Tokyo and their colleagues in the Aug. 31 Nature. When the researchers finally cloned TCS1, they found it had little similarity to other genes.

Important as caffeine has been to humanity—inspiring cuisine, commerce, and poetry, not to mention preventing the collapse of the industrialized world on Monday mornings—biologists have only recently begun unraveling nature's own caffeine synthesis.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content