Genes & Genomics

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 79–94 | Cite as

Deciphering genome-wide WRKY gene family of Triticum aestivum L. and their functional role in response to Abiotic stress

  • Saurabh Gupta
  • Vinod Kumar Mishra
  • Sunita Kumari
  • Raavi
  • Ramesh Chand
  • Pritish Kumar VaradwajEmail author
Research Article


WRKY transcription factors (TFs) act in regulating plant growth and development as well as in response to different stress. Some earlier studies done by individual researchers reported different wheat WRKY TFs. Although, the recently released wheat genome has opened an avenue to investigate wheat WRKYs (TaWRKY) TFs. Prime objective of this study to performed genome-wide classifications of TaWRKYs and their functional annotation. The classification of 107 individual identified characterized sequences of TaWRKY (IICS-TaWRKY) and 160 uncharacterized draft sequences of TaWRKY (UDS-TaWRKY), along with their gene structures and motifs analysis was performed. Along with comparative sequence analysis and microarray analysis was performed to mimic out TaWRKYs functions in response to different abiotic stresses, accompanied by in-vitro validation. The comparative phylogenetic analysis and estimation of Ka/Ks ratio with Triticum urartu, illustrate group based clasifications of TaWRKYs and evolutionary divergences. Furthermore, motif-based and protein-DNA interaction analysis of TaWRKYs helps to identify, their putative function in target DNA recognition sites. Subsequently, results of microarray and comparative sequence analysis provides the evidence of TaWRKYs involved in heat and/or drought stress. Further, in-vitro results validates that TaWRKY014, TaWRKY090 are found to participate in response of drought stress, whereas TaWRKY008, TaWRKY122, and WRKY45 are involved in response of heat and drought stress. These findings can be utilized in developing novel heat and drought-tolerant wheat cultivars using marker-assisted breeding and transgenic development.


Wheat WRKY TFs Gene amplification Heat stress Drought stress 


Author contributions

SG and PKV conceived the work and designed the experiments. SG and SM performed all in-silico and in-vitro experiments. SG, VKM, SM, and PKV analyzed the results. SG, VKM, RR, PKV and RC contributed to writing the manuscript and discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.


This study was not supported by any funding agency.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This research does not perform any experiment on human and animals. Data used in this work were collected from open sources and all in-vitro data were generated at the Plant Genetics Lab, Banaras Hindu University-Varanasi, India. Hence, the authors declare that there is no compliance with ethical standards.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saurabh Gupta
    • 1
    • 4
  • Vinod Kumar Mishra
    • 2
  • Sunita Kumari
    • 2
  • Raavi
    • 3
  • Ramesh Chand
    • 2
  • Pritish Kumar Varadwaj
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Applied SciencesIndian Institute of Information TechnologyAllahabadIndia
  2. 2.Institute of Agricultural SciencesBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  3. 3.Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry ProgramBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.AgriGenome Labs Pvt. Ltd.HyderabadIndia

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