For an experimental model to elucidate the relationship between light quality during plant culture conditions and plant quality of crops or vegetables, we cultured tea plants (Camellia sinensis) and analyzed their leaves as tea material. First, metabolic profiling of teas from a tea contest in Japan was performed with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), and then a ranking predictive model was made which predicted tea rankings from their metabolite profile. Additionally, the importance of some compounds (glutamine, glutamic acid, oxalic acid, epigallocatechin, phosphoric acid, and inositol) was elucidated for measurement of the quality of tea leaf. Subsequently, tea plants were cultured in artificial conditions to control these compounds. From the result of prediction by the ranking predictive model, the tea sample supplemented with ultraviolet-A (315–399 nm) showed the highest ranking. The improvement in quality was thought to come from the high amino-acid and decreased epigallocatechin content in tea leaves. The current study shows the use and value of metabolic profiling in the field of high-quality crops and vegetables production that has been conventionally evaluated by human sensory analysis. Metabolic profiling enables us to form hypothesis to understand and develop high quality plant cultured under artificial condition.
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