Tea Trees Have Giant Genomes, and That’s Good

The first draft tea tree genome is revealing how the world’s most popular beverage developed its unique flavors and soothing properties.

Despite the wide variety of teas that adorn store shelves today, there is just one species of plant that produces tea leaves. Two varieties of Camellia sinensis, a type of evergreen shrub, are responsible for everything from Masala chai to oolong teas, with small variations in the way the leaves are picked and prepared accounting for the vast diversity o

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