OsWRKY30 is activated by MAP kinases to confer drought tolerance in rice
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Both the WRKY transcription factor (TF) and MAP kinases have been shown to regulate gene expression in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Several reports have shown that WRKY TFs may function downstream of MAPK cascades. Here, we have shown that OsWRKY30 interacted with OsMPK3, OsMPK4, OsMPK7, OsMPK14, OsMPK20-4, and OsMPK20-5, and could be phosphorylated by OsMPK3, OsMPK7, and OsMPK14. Overexpression of OsWRKY30 in rice dramatically increased drought tolerance. Overexpression of OsWRKY30AA, in which all SP (serine residue followed by proline residue) sites were replaced by AP (A, alanine), resulted in no improvement in drought tolerance. In addition, the function of transcriptional activation of OsWRKY30 was impaired after SP was replaced by AP. These results proved that the phosphorylation of OsWRKY30 by MAPKs was crucial in order for OsWRKY30 to perform its biological function.
KeywordsWRKY MAPK Drought tolerance Phosphorylation Transcriptional activation
We greatly appreciate the laboratory conditions for in vitro phosphorylation assay, which was supplied by Dr. Yan Guo and the technical assistance by Dr. Huixin Lin (National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China). In addition, we would like to give our thanks to Prof. Haiyang Wang for the critical reading of and the valuable comments on this manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (30770211), Agricultural Ministry of China (2008ZX08009-003), and the 863 High-tech Project from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2007AA10Z185).
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