1. The tRNA methyltransferase activity in vitro of leaves, cotyledons and roots of 85-day-old tea seedlings was studied. 2. The activity of extracts prepared from tea leaves with Polycar AT (insoluble polyvinylpyrrolidine) had optimum pH7.7 and was greatly influenced by thiol compounds, but only slightly by metal ions and ammonium acetate. 3. The activities of extracts, expressed per mg of protein, were as follows: roots greater than leaves greater than cotyledons. The only methylated base isolated after incubation with these preparations was 1-methyladenine. 4. The results did not support the view of involvement of methylation of nucleic acids in caffeine biosynthesis in tea plants. In contrast, it is suggested that theophylline is synthesized from the specific methylated precursor in nucleic acids, namely 1-methyladenylic acid, via 1-methylxanthine.

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