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The WRKY Transcription Factor GmWRKY12 Confers Drought and Salt Tolerance in Soybean

College of Life Sciences, College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, Yangling 712100, China
Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Triticeae Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100081, China
Faculty of Agronomy, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(12), 4087;
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 December 2018 / Published: 17 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genomics)
PDF [4192 KB, uploaded 17 December 2018]


WRKYs are important regulators in plant development and stress responses. However, knowledge of this superfamily in soybean is limited. In this study, we characterized the drought- and salt-induced gene GmWRKY12 based on RNA-Seq and qRT-PCR. GmWRKY12, which is 714 bp in length, encoded 237 amino acids and grouped into WRKY II. The promoter region of GmWRKY12 included ABER4, MYB, MYC, GT-1, W-box and DPBF cis-elements, which possibly participate in abscisic acid (ABA), drought and salt stress responses. GmWRKY12 was minimally expressed in different tissues under normal conditions but highly expressed under drought and salt treatments. As a nucleus protein, GmWRKY12 was responsive to drought, salt, ABA and salicylic acid (SA) stresses. Using a transgenic hairy root assay, we further characterized the roles of GmWRKY12 in abiotic stress tolerance. Compared with control (Williams 82), overexpression of GmWRKY12 enhanced drought and salt tolerance, increased proline (Pro) content and decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) content under drought and salt treatment in transgenic soybean seedlings. These results may provide a basis to understand the functions of GmWRKY12 in abiotic stress responses in soybean. View Full-Text
Keywords: WRKY; stress responsive mechanism; drought tolerance; salt tolerance; transgenic hairy root assay; soybean WRKY; stress responsive mechanism; drought tolerance; salt tolerance; transgenic hairy root assay; soybean

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Shi, W.-Y.; Du, Y.-T.; Ma, J.; Min, D.-H.; Jin, L.-G.; Chen, J.; Chen, M.; Zhou, Y.-B.; Ma, Y.-Z.; Xu, Z.-S.; Zhang, X.-H. The WRKY Transcription Factor GmWRKY12 Confers Drought and Salt Tolerance in Soybean. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 4087.

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