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Open AccessArticle

Comprehensive Analysis and Functional Studies of WRKY Transcription Factors in Nelumbo nucifera

1
School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Life Sciences, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
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Key Laboratory of Plant Germplasm Enhancement and Specialty Agriculture, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
3
Center of Economic Botany, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
4
Viikki Biocenter, Department of Biosciences, Division of Genetics, University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5006; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205006
Received: 8 September 2019 / Revised: 5 October 2019 / Accepted: 7 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
The WRKY family is one of the largest transcription factor (TF) families in plants and plays central roles in modulating plant stress responses and developmental processes, as well as secondary metabolic regulations. Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is an aquatic crop that has significant food, ornamental and pharmacological values. Here, we performed an overview analysis of WRKY TF family members in lotus, and studied their functions in environmental adaptation and regulation of lotus benzylisoquinoline alkaloid (BIA) biosynthesis. A total of 65 WRKY genes were identified in the lotus genome and they were well clustered in a similar pattern with their Arabidopsis homologs in seven groups (designated I, IIa-IIe, and III), although no lotus WRKY was clustered in the group IIIa. Most lotus WRKYs were functionally paired, which was attributed to the recently occurred whole genome duplication in lotus. In addition, lotus WRKYs were regulated dramatically by salicilic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and submergence treatments, and two lotus WRKYs, NnWRKY40a and NnWRKY40b, were significantly induced by JA and promoted lotus BIA biosynthesis through activating BIA biosynthetic genes. The investigation of WRKY TFs for this basal eudicot reveals new insights into the evolution of the WRKY family, and provides fundamental information for their functional studies and lotus breeding. View Full-Text
Keywords: WRKY; Lotus; transcription factor; evolution; benzylisoquinoline alkaloids WRKY; Lotus; transcription factor; evolution; benzylisoquinoline alkaloids
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Li, J.; Xiong, Y.; Li, Y.; Ye, S.; Yin, Q.; Gao, S.; Yang, D.; Yang, M.; Palva, E.T.; Deng, X. Comprehensive Analysis and Functional Studies of WRKY Transcription Factors in Nelumbo nucifera. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 5006.

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