Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 399-416

First online:

Hv-WRKY38: a new transcription factor involved in cold- and drought-response in barley

  • Caterina MarèAffiliated withIstituto Sperimentale per la Cerealicoltura
  • , Elisabetta MazzucotelliAffiliated withIstituto Sperimentale per la CerealicolturaDipartimento di Biologia sez. Biologia evolutiva, Università degli Studi di Ferrara
  • , Cristina CrosattiAffiliated withIstituto Sperimentale per la Cerealicoltura
  • , Enrico FranciaAffiliated withIstituto Sperimentale per la Cerealicoltura
  • , A.␣michele StancaAffiliated withIstituto Sperimentale per la Cerealicoltura
  • , Luigi CattivelliAffiliated withIstituto Sperimentale per la Cerealicoltura

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WRKY proteins constitute a large family of plant specific transcription factors implicated in many different processes. Here we describe Hv-WRKY38,a barley gene coding for a WRKY protein, whose expression is involved in cold and drought stress response. Hv-WRKY38 was early and transiently expressed during exposure to low non-freezing temperature, in ABA-independent manner. Furthermore, it showed a continuous induction during dehydration and freezing treatments. A WRKY38:YFP fusion protein was found to localise into the nucleus upon introduction into epidermal onion cells. Bacterially expressed Hv-WRKY38 was able to bind in vitro to the W-box element (T)TGAC(C/T) also recognisable by other WRKY proteins. Hv-WRKY38genomic DNA was sequenced and mapped onto the centromeric region of the barley chromosome 6H. Arabidopsis and rice sequences homologous to Hv-WRKY38 were also identified. Our results indicate that Hv-WRKY38 transcription factor may play a regulatory role in abiotic stress response.

barley cold drought freezing transcription factor WRKY protein