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Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 89, Issue 1–2, pp 157–171 | Cite as

Rice WRKY4 acts as a transcriptional activator mediating defense responses toward Rhizoctonia solani, the causing agent of rice sheath blight

  • Haihua Wang
  • Jiao Meng
  • Xixu Peng
  • Xinke Tang
  • Pinglan Zhou
  • Jianhua Xiang
  • Xiaobo Deng
Article

Abstract

WRKY transcription factors have been implicated in the regulation of transcriptional reprogramming associated with various plant processes but most notably with plant defense responses to pathogens. Here we demonstrate that expression of rice WRKY4 gene (OsWRKY4) was rapidly and strongly induced upon infection of Rhizoctonia solani, the causing agent of rice sheath blight, and exogenous jasmonic acid (JA) and ethylene (ET). OsWRKY4 is localized to the nucleus of plant cells and possesses transcriptional activation ability. Modulation of OsWRKY4 transcript levels by constitutive overexpression increases resistance to the necrotrophic sheath blight fungus, concomitant with elevated expression of JA- and ET-responsive pathogenesis-related (PR) genes such as PR1a, PR1b, PR5 and PR10/PBZ1. Suppression by RNA interference (RNAi), on the other hand, compromises resistance to the fungal pathogen. Yeast one-hybrid assay and transient expression in tobacco cells reveal that OsWRKY4 specifically binds to the promoter regions of PR1b and PR5 which contain W-box (TTGAC[C/T]), or W-box like (TGAC[C/T]) cis-elements. In conclusion, we propose that OsWRKY4 functions as an important positive regulator that is implicated in the defense responses to rice sheath blight via JA/ET-dependent signal pathway.

Keywords

Disease resistance Rhizoctonia solani Transcription factor WRKY protein Oryza sativa 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31171803, 31301617) and Project of Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 10JJ2030).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have read and approved this version of the article, and due care has been taken to ensure the integrity of the work. The authors declare that there are no potential conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Supplementary material

11103_2015_360_MOESM4_ESM.doc (48 kb)
Supplementary Table S1 Gene-specific primers for quantitative real-time PCR. (DOC 47 kb)
11103_2015_360_MOESM5_ESM.doc (31 kb)
Supplementary Table S2 Specific primers for amplification of the full and 5′-deleted promoters of rice PR1b and PR5. (DOC 31 kb)
11103_2015_360_MOESM1_ESM.tif (282 kb)
Supplementary Fig. S1 Transcription levels of OsWRKY1 and OsWRKY17 in OsWRKY4 RNAi transgenic rice plants. (TIFF 282 kb)
11103_2015_360_MOESM2_ESM.tif (1.7 mb)
Supplementary Fig. S2 Changed disease resistance of OsWRKY4 overexpression and RNAi transgenic rice plants. (TIFF 1708 kb)
11103_2015_360_MOESM3_ESM.jpg (115 kb)
Supplementary Fig. S3 Distribution of W-box or W-box like elements in the promoter of OsWRKY4. (JPEG 114 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haihua Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jiao Meng
    • 1
  • Xixu Peng
    • 1
    • 3
  • Xinke Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pinglan Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jianhua Xiang
    • 1
  • Xiaobo Deng
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Life ScienceHunan University of Science and TechnologyXiangtanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of the Pests and Diseases on Horticultural Crops in Hunan ProvinceXiangtanChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Ecological Remediation and Safe Utilization of Heavy Metal-Polluted SoilsCollege of Hunan ProvinceXiangtanChina

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