Abstract(#br)Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are a large and highly diverse family of polypeptides that play important roles in plant growth, development and stress responses. At present, LEA gene families have been identified and systematically characterized in many plant species. However, the LEA gene family in tea plant has not been revealed, and the biological functions of the members of this family remain unknown. In this study, 33 CsLEA genes were identified from tea plant via a genome-wide study, and they were clustered into seven groups according to analyses of their phylogenetic relationships, gene structures and protein conserved motifs. In addition, expression analysis revealed that the CsLEA genes were specifically expressed in one or more tissues and significantly... induced under cold and dehydration stresses, implying that CsLEA genes play important roles in tea plant growth, development and response to cold and dehydration stresses. Furthermore, a potential transcriptional regulatory network, including DREB/CBF, MYB, bZIP, bHLH, BPC and other transcription factors, is directly associated with the expression of CsLEA genes, which may be ubiquitous and important in the above mentioned processes. This study could help to increase our understanding of CsLEA proteins and their contributions to stress tolerance in tea plant.