, Volume 250, Issue 1, pp 347–366 | Cite as

Characterization of LuWRKY36, a flax transcription factor promoting secoisolariciresinol biosynthesis in response to Fusarium oxysporum elicitors in Linum usitatissimum L. hairy roots

  • Lucija Markulin
  • Cyrielle Corbin
  • Sullivan Renouard
  • Samantha Drouet
  • Charlène Durpoix
  • Charlotte Mathieu
  • Tatiana Lopez
  • Daniel Auguin
  • Christophe Hano
  • Éric LainéEmail author
Original Article


Main conclusion

The involvement of a WRKY transcription factor in the regulation of lignan biosynthesis in flax using a hairy root system is described.


Secoisolariciresinol is the main flax lignan synthesized by action of LuPLR1 (pinoresinol–lariciresinol reductase 1). LuPLR1 gene promoter deletion experiments have revealed a promoter region containing W boxes potentially responsible for the response to Fusarium oxysporum. W boxes are bound by WRKY transcription factors that play a role in the response to stress. A candidate WRKY transcription factor, LuWRKY36, was isolated from both abscisic acid and Fusarium elicitor-treated flax cell cDNA libraries. This transcription factors contains two WRKY DNA-binding domains and is a homolog of AtWRKY33. Different approaches confirmed LuWRKY36 binding to a W box located in the LuPLR1 promoter occurring through a unique direct interaction mediated by its N-terminal WRKY domain. Our results propose that the positive regulator action of LuWRKY36 on the LuPLR1 gene regulation and lignan biosynthesis in response to biotic stress is positively mediated by abscisic acid and inhibited by ethylene. Additionally, we demonstrate a differential Fusarium elicitor response in susceptible and resistant flax cultivars, seen as a faster and stronger LuPLR1 gene expression response accompanied with higher secoisolariciresinol accumulation in HR of the resistant cultivar.


Abscisic acid Biotic stress Lignan Linum usitatissimum L. Pinoresinol–lariciresinol reductase Promoter WRKY 





Electrophoretic mobility shift assay


Fusarium oxysporum


Hairy roots




Transcription factor



Lucija Markulin received a grant from the French Ministry of Research and Higher Education.

Compliance with ethical standard

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Supplementary material

425_2019_3172_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1180 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucija Markulin
    • 1
  • Cyrielle Corbin
    • 1
  • Sullivan Renouard
    • 1
  • Samantha Drouet
    • 1
  • Charlène Durpoix
    • 1
  • Charlotte Mathieu
    • 1
  • Tatiana Lopez
    • 1
  • Daniel Auguin
    • 1
  • Christophe Hano
    • 1
  • Éric Lainé
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, EA 1207, INRA USC 1328, Université d’OrléansPôle Universitaire d’Eure et LoirChartresFrance

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