Isolation and characterization of PoWRKY, an abiotic stress-related WRKY transcription factor from Polygonatum odoratum

Abstract

WRKY transcription factors play vital roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. As a kind of high value medicinal plant, Polygonatum odoratum has an ability to tolerate various abiotic stresses because of the special growth condition. In current study, a novel WRKY gene from P. odoratum is isolated and compared with homologous sequences from other plants. PoWRKY1 possesses two typical WRKY domains and two C2H2 zinc-finger motifs. Evolutionary analysis indicated that PoWRKY1 is most closely related to WRKY protein from Asparagus officinalis. Expression analysis showed that expression of PoWRKY1 is induced by cold and drought stresses but not salt stress. Overexpression of PoWRKY1 in Arabidopsis improved seed germination and root growth of transgenic plants during cold stress and drought. In addition, super oxide dismutase activity and proline content in transgenic plants increased under cold and drought stresses, whereas malondialdehyde levels and relative electrolyte leakage reduced under similar stress conditions. Taken together, these results showed that PoWRKY1 enhances the tolerance to cold and drought stresses. This study lays a potential foundation to understand the molecular mechanism of tolerance to abiotic stress in P. odoratum.

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Abbreviations

TF:

Transcription factor

ABA:

Abscisic acid

SOD:

Super oxide dismutase

MDA:

Malondialdehyde

NJ:

Neighbor-joining

PCR:

Polymerase chain reaction

qRT-PCR:

Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction

NBT:

Nitro blue tetrazolium

WT:

Wild type

NLS:

Nuclear localization signal

POD:

Peroxidase

CAT:

Catalase

ROS:

Reactive oxygen species

POD:

Peroxidase

TBA:

Thiobarbituric acid

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Acknowledgements

We express our gratitude to the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments to improve the manuscript. This work was supported by the LiaoNing Revitalization Talents Program (XLYC1902081) and Project of Task for Discipline Construction in Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences (2019DD217032).

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Correspondence to Jingfeng Ye or Zhiquan Zhou.

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Wei, Z., Ye, J., Zhou, Z. et al. Isolation and characterization of PoWRKY, an abiotic stress-related WRKY transcription factor from Polygonatum odoratum. Physiol Mol Biol Plants 27, 1–9 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12298-020-00924-w

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Keywords

  • Polygonatum odoratum
  • WRKY transcription factors
  • Cold stress
  • Drought stress
  • Overexpressing