GhWRKY40, a multiple stress-responsive cotton WRKY gene, plays an important role in the wounding response and enhances susceptibility to ralstonia solanacearum infection in transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana.
ABSTRACT: WRKY transcription factors form one of the largest transcription factor families and function as important components in the complex signaling processes that occur during plant stress responses. However, relative to the research progress in model plants, far less information is available on the function of WRKY proteins in cotton. In the present study, we identified the GhWRKY40 gene in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and determined that the GhWRKY40 protein is targeted to the nucleus and is a stress-inducible transcription factor. The GhWRKY40 transcript level was increased upon wounding and infection with the bacterial pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum. The overexpression of GhWRKY40 down-regulated most of the defense-related genes, enhanced the wounding tolerance and increased the susceptibility to R. solanacearum. Consistent with a role in multiple stress responses, we found that the GhWRKY40 transcript level was increased by the stress hormones salicylic acid (SA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and ethylene (ET). Moreover, GhWRKY40 interacted with the MAPK kinase GhMPK20, as shown using yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation systems. Collectively, these results suggest that GhWRKY40 is regulated by SA, MeJA and ET signaling and coordinates responses to wounding and R. solanacearum attack. These findings highlight the importance of WRKYs in regulating wounding- and pathogen-induced responses.
Project description:WRKY transcription factors (TFs) modulate plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Here, we characterized a WRKY IIc TF, NtWRKY50, isolated from tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants. The results showed that NtWRKY50 is a nuclear-localized protein and that its gene transcript is induced in tobacco when inoculated with the pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum. Overexpression of NtWRKY50 enhanced bacterial resistance, which correlated with enhanced SA and JA/ET signaling genes. However, silencing of the NtWRKY50 gene had no obvious effects on plant disease resistance, implying functional redundancy of NtWRKY50 with other TFs. In addition, it was found that NtWRKY50 can be induced by various biotic or abiotic stresses, such as Potato virus Y, Rhizoctonia solani, Phytophthora parasitica, hydrogen peroxide, heat, cold, and wounding as well as the hormones salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET). Importantly, additional analysis suggests that NtWRKY50 overexpression markedly promotes SA levels but prevents pathogen-induced JA production. These data indicate that NtWRKY50 overexpression leads to altered SA and JA content, increased expression of defense-related genes and enhanced plant resistance to R. solanacearum. These probably due to increased activity of endogenous NtWRKY50 gene or could be gain-of-function phenotypes by altering the profile of genes affected by NtWRKY50.
Project description:WRKY proteins are a large superfamily of transcription factors that are involved in diverse biological processes including development, as well as biotic and abiotic stress responses in plants. WRKY family proteins have been extensively characterized and analyzed in many plant species, including Arabidopsis, rice, and poplar. However, knowledge on WRKY transcription factors in Santalum album is scarce. Based on S. album genome and transcriptome data, 64 SaWRKY genes were identified in this study. A phylogenetic analysis based on the structures of WRKY protein sequences divided these genes into three major groups (I, II, III) together with WRKY protein sequences from Arabidopsis. Tissue-specific expression patterns showed that 37 SaWRKY genes were expressed in at least one of five tissues (leaves, roots, heartwood, sapwood, or the transition zone), while the remaining four genes weakly expressed in all of these tissues. Analysis of the expression profiles of the 42 SaWRKY genes after callus was initiated by salicylic acid (SA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) revealed that 25 and 24 SaWRKY genes, respectively, were significantly induced. The function of SaWRKY1, which was significantly up-regulated by SA and MeJA, was analyzed. SaWRKY1 was localized in the nucleus and its overexpression improved salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis. Our study provides important information to further identify the functions of SaWRKY genes and to understand the roles of SaWRKY family genes involved in the development and in SA- and MeJA-mediated stress responses.
Project description:The WRKY web, which is comprised of a subset of WRKY transcription factors (TFs), plays a crucial role in the regulation of plant immunity, however, the mode of organization and operation of this network remains obscure, especially in non-model plants such as pepper (Capsicum annuum). Herein, CaWRKY22, a member of a subgroup of IIe WRKY proteins from pepper, was functionally characterized in pepper immunity against Ralstonia Solanacearum. CaWRKY22 was found to target the nuclei, and its transcript level was significantly upregulated by Ralstonia Solanacearum inoculation (RSI) and exogenously applied salicylic acid (SA), Methyl jasmonate (MeJA), or ethephon (ETH). Loss-of-function CaWRKY22, caused by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), enhanced pepper’s susceptibility to RSI. In addition, the silencing of CaWRKY22 perturbed the hypersensitive response (HR)-like cell death elicited by RSI and downregulated defense-related genes including CaPO2, CaPR4, CaACC, CaBPR1, CaDEF1, CaHIR1, and CaWRKY40. CaWRKY22 was found to directly bind to the promoters of CaPR1, CaDEF1, and CaWRKY40 by chromatin immuno-precipitation (ChIP) analysis. Contrastingly, transient overexpression of CaWRKY22 in pepper leaves triggered significant HR-like cell death and upregulated the tested immunity associated maker genes. Moreover, the transient overexpression of CaWRKY22 upregulated the expression of CaWRKY6 and CaWRKY27 while it downregulated of the expression of CaWRKY58. Conversely, the transient overexpression of CaWRKY6, CaWRKY27, and CaWRKY40 upregulated the expression of CaWRKY22, while transient overexpression of CaWRKY58 downregulated the transcript levels of CaWRKY22. These data collectively recommend the role of CaWRKY22 as a positive regulator of pepper immunity against R. Solanacearum, which is regulated by signaling synergistically mediated by SA, jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET), integrating into WRKY networks with WRKY TFs including CaWRKY6, CaWRKY27, CaWRKY40, and CaWRKY58.
Project description:WRKY proteins are a large family of regulators involved in various developmental and physiological processes, especially in coping with diverse biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, 100 putative PtrWRKY genes encoded the proteins contained in the complete WRKY domain in Populus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the members of this superfamily among poplar, Arabidopsis, and other species were divided into three groups with several subgroups based on the structures of the WRKY protein sequences. Various cis-acting elements related to stress and defence responses were found in the promoter regions of PtrWRKY genes by promoter analysis. High-throughput transcriptomic analyses identified that 61 of the PtrWRKY genes were induced by biotic and abiotic treatments, such as Marssonina brunnea, salicylic acid (SA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), wounding, cold, and salinity. Among these PtrWRKY genes, transcripts of 46 selected genes were observed in different tissues, including roots, stems, and leaves. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis further confirmed the induced expression of 18 PtrWRKY genes by one or more stress treatments. The overexpression of an SA-inducible gene, PtrWRKY89, accelerated expression of PR protein genes and improved resistance to pathogens in transgenic poplar, suggesting that PtrWRKY89 is a regulator of an SA-dependent defence-signalling pathway in poplar. Taken together, our results provided signi?cant information for improving the resistance and stress tolerance of woody plants.
Project description:WRKY transcription factors (TFs) play crucial roles in plant resistance responses to pathogens. Wheat stripe rust, caused by the fungal pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a destructive disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum) worldwide. In this study, the two WRKY genes TaWRKY49 and TaWRKY62 were originally identified in association with high-temperature seedling-plant resistance to Pst (HTSP) resistance in wheat cultivar Xiaoyan 6 by RNA-seq. Interestingly, the expression levels of TaWRKY49 and TaWRKY62 were down- and up-regulated, respectively, during HTSP resistance in response to Pst. Silencing of TaWRKY49 enhanced whereas silencing TaWRKY62 reduced HTSP resistance. The enhanced resistance observed on leaves following the silencing of TaWRKY49 was coupled with increased expression of salicylic acid (SA)- and jasmonic acid (JA)-responsive genes TaPR1.1 and TaAOS, as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS)-associated genes TaCAT and TaPOD; whereas the ethylene (ET)-responsive gene TaPIE1 was suppressed. The decreased resistance observed on leaves following TaWRKY62 silencing was associated with increased expression of TaPR1.1 and TaPOD, and suppression of TaAOS and TaPIE1. Furthermore, SA, ET, MeJA (methyl jasmonate), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and abscisic acid (ABA) treatments increased TaWRKY62 expression. On the other hand, MeJA did not affect the expression of TaWRKY49, and H2O2 reduced TaWRKY49 expression. In conclusion, TaWRKY49 negatively regulates while TaWRKY62 positively regulates wheat HTSP resistance to Pst by differential regulation of SA-, JA-, ET and ROS-mediated signaling.
Project description:Studying plant stress responses is an important issue in a world threatened by global warming. Unfortunately, comparative analyses are hampered by varying experimental setups. In contrast, the AtGenExpress abiotic stress experiment displays intercomparability. Importantly, six of the nine stresses (wounding, genotoxic, oxidative, UV-B light, osmotic and salt) can be examined for their capacity to generate systemic signals between the shoot and root, which might be essential to regain homeostasis in Arabidopsis thaliana. We classified the systemic responses into two groups: genes that are regulated in the non-treated tissue only are defined as type I responsive and, accordingly, genes that react in both tissues are termed type II responsive. Analysis of type I and II systemic responses suggest distinct functionalities, but also significant overlap between different stresses. Comparison with salicylic acid (SA) and methyl-jasmonate (MeJA) responsive genes implies that MeJA is involved in the systemic stress response. Certain genes are predominantly responding in only one of the categories, e.g., WRKY genes respond mainly non-systemically. Instead, genes of the plant core environmental stress response (PCESR), e.g., ZAT10, ZAT12, ERD9 or MES9, are part of different response types. Moreover, several PCESR genes switch between the categories in a stress-specific manner.
Project description:Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a devastating disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum) worldwide. Wheat high-temperature seedling plant (HTSP) resistance to Pst is non-race-specific and durable. WRKY transcription factors have been proven to play important roles in plant defence responses to attacks by several pathogens. However, there is no direct evidence as to whether WRKY transcription factors play a role in HTSP resistance to Pst. We isolated a WRKY gene, named TaWRKY70, from wheat cultivar Xiaoyan 6. The expression level of TaWRKY70 was increased significantly when exposed to high temperatures (HTs) during the initial symptom expression stage of Pst infection. The expression of this gene increased in plants treated with ethylene (ET), salicylic acid (SA) and cold (4°C) stresses, but decreased in plants treated with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and heat (40°C) stresses. Silencing of TaWRKY70 led to greater susceptibility to Pst (in terms of the increase in length of uredinial pustules and the decrease in the number of necrotic cells) compared with non-silenced plants when exposed to HT during the initial symptom expression stage of Pst infection, coinciding with expression changes of the ET- and SA-responsive genes TaPIE1 and TaPR1.1. In contrast, the expression level of the jasmonic acid (JA)-responsive gene TaAOS was not affected by TaWRKY70. These results indicate that TaWRKY70 is positively involved in HTSP resistance, during which SA and ET signalling are probably activated.
Project description:Bacterial wilt is a devastating disease of tomato caused by soilborne pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum. Previous studies found that silicon (Si) can increase tomato resistance against R. solanacearum, but the exact molecular mechanism remains unclear. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) technology was used to investigate the dynamic changes of root transcriptome profiles between Si-treated (+Si) and untreated (-Si) tomato plants at 1, 3, and 7 days post-inoculation with R. solanacearum. The contents of salicylic acid (SA), ethylene (ET), and jasmonic acid (JA) and the activity of defense-related enzymes in roots of tomato in different treatments were also determined. The burst of ET production in roots was delayed, and SA and JA contents were altered in Si treatment. The transcriptional response to R. solanacearum infection of the +Si plants was quicker than that of the untreated plants. The expression levels of differentially-expressed genes involved in pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered immunity (PTI), oxidation resistance, and water-deficit stress tolerance were upregulated in the Si-treated plants. Multiple hormone-related genes were differentially expressed in the Si-treated plants. Si-mediated resistance involves mechanisms other than SA- and JA/ET-mediated stress responses. We propose that Si-mediated tomato resistance to R. solanacearum is associated with activated PTI-related responses and enhanced disease resistance and tolerance via several signaling pathways. Such pathways are mediated by multiple hormones (e.g., SA, JA, ET, and auxin), leading to diminished adverse effects (e.g., senescence, water-deficit, salinity and oxidative stress) normally caused by R. solanacearum infection. This finding will provide an important basis to further characterize the role of Si in enhancing plant resistance against biotic stress.
Project description:GSK3-like kinases have been mainly implicated in the brassinosteroids (BR) pathway and, therefore, in plant growth, development, and responses to abiotic stresses; however, their roles in plant immunity remain poorly understood. Herein, we present evidence that CaSK23, a putative GSK3/SHAGGY-like kinase in pepper, acts as a negative regulator in pepper's response to Ralstonia solanacearum (R. solanacearum) inoculation (RSI). Data from quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) showed that the constitutively-expressed CaSK23 in pepper leaves was down-regulated by RSI, as well as by exogenously-applied salicylic acid (SA) or methyl jasomonate (MeJA). Silencing of CaSK23 by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) decreased the susceptibility of pepper plants to RSI, coupled with up-regulation of the tested genes encoding SA-, JA-, and ethylene (ET)-dependent pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins. In contrast, ectopic overexpression (OE) of CaSK23 conferred a compromised resistance of tobacco plants to RSI, accompanied by down-regulation of the tested immunity-associated SA-, JA-, and ET-dependent PR genes. In addition, transient overexpression of CaSK23 in pepper plants consistently led to down-regulation of the tested SA-, JA-, and ET-dependent PR genes. We speculate that CaSK23 acts as a negative regulator in pepper immunity and its constitutive expression represses pepper immunity in the absence of pathogens. On the other hand, its decreased expression derepresses immunity when pepper plants are attacked by pathogens.
Project description:The WRKY transcription factors (TFs) network is composed of WRKY TFs' subset, which performs a critical role in immunity regulation of plants. However, functions of WRKY TFs' network remain unclear, particularly in non-model plants such as pepper (<i>Capsicum annuum</i> L.). This study functionally characterized CaWRKY30-a member of group III Pepper WRKY protein-for immunity of pepper against <i>Ralstonia solanacearum</i> infection. The <i>CaWRKY30</i> was detected in nucleus, and its transcriptional expression levels were significantly upregulated by <i>R. solanacearum</i> inoculation (RSI), and foliar application ethylene (ET), abscisic acid (ABA), and salicylic acid (SA). Virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) of <i>CaWRKY30</i> amplified pepper's vulnerability to RSI. Additionally, the silencing of <i>CaWRKY30</i> by VIGS compromised HR-like cell death triggered by RSI and downregulated defense-associated marker genes, like <i>CaPR1</i>, <i>CaNPR1</i>, <i>CaDEF1</i>, <i>CaABR1</i>, <i>CaHIR1</i>, and <i>CaWRKY40</i>. Conversely, transient over-expression of <i>CaWRKY30</i> in pepper leaves instigated HR-like cell death and upregulated defense-related maker genes. Furthermore, transient over-expression of <i>CaWRKY30</i> upregulated transcriptional levels of <i>CaWRKY6</i>, <i>CaWRKY22</i>, <i>CaWRKY27</i>, and <i>CaWRKY40</i>. On the other hand, transient over-expression of <i>CaWRKY6</i>, <i>CaWRKY22</i>, <i>CaWRKY27</i>, and <i>CaWRKY40</i> upregulated transcriptional expression levels of <i>CaWRKY30</i>. The results recommend that newly characterized <i>CaWRKY30</i> positively regulates pepper's immunity against <i>Ralstonia</i> attack, which is governed by synergistically mediated signaling by phytohormones like ET, ABA, and SA, and transcriptionally assimilating into WRKY TFs networks, consisting of <i>CaWRKY6</i>, <i>CaWRKY22</i>, <i>CaWRKY27</i>, and <i>CaWRKY40</i>. Collectively, our data will facilitate to explicate the underlying mechanism of crosstalk between pepper's immunity and response to RSI.