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Role of WRKY transcription factors in plant defense against lepidopteran insect herbivores: an overview

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Abstract

Plants, in nature are challenged by various environmental stresses (both biotic and abiotic), which distort the plant growth, development and crop yield. A wide range of insect herbivores attack plants across the globe, throughout the year, causing huge loss to the productivity of crop species. Being sessile, the plants respond to the crisis using a wide range of defense responsive elements which at the transcriptional level, includes the transcription factors, like WRKY, NAC, AP2/ERF, MYB, MYC, bZIP, bHLH and others. Increasing evidences suggest a pivotal role of WRKY TFs in the regulation of plant defense response against herbivory in Arabidopsis and other important crop plants. Unlike pathogenic attack, very limited information is available on the role of different WRKYs in herbivore-plant interaction. In this review, we will thus majorly focus on the role of WRKY transcription factors and its regulation in response to herbivore attack while summarizing the recent developments from the field of transcriptional, post-transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of WRKYs in response to herbivory attack with the prospects for future implementation in research.

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Abbreviations

AtTFDB:

Arabidopsis Transcription Factor Database

BIAs:

Benzyl Isoquinoline Alkaloids

bZIP:

Basic Leucine Zipper

CAF-1:

Chromatin Assembly Factor-1

CaMBD:

CalModulin-Binding Domain

COI1:

Coronatine-insensitive protein 1

DAMPs:

Damage Associated Molecular Patterns

DBDs:

DNA Binding Domains

DES :

Divinyl Ethyl Synthase

DOX1 :

α-dioxygenase 1

ERF:

Ethylene Response Factor

ET:

Ethylene

ETI:

Effector Triggered Immunity

FLD:

Flowering locus D

FLS2:

Flagellin-Sensitive 2

GA:

Gibberellin

HAMPs:

Herbivory Associated Molecular Patterns

JA:

Jasmonic Acid

JA-Ile:

JA-Isoleucine

JAV:

Jasmonate-Associated VQ motif gene 1

JAZ :

Jasmonate ZIM-Domain

JJW :

JAV1-JAZ8-WRKY51 complex

LoxD :

Lipoxygenase D

MADS:

Transcription Factors with MADS domain

MAPK:

Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase

MEK:

Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase Kinase

MEKK:

MEK Kinase

MKS1:

MAP Kinase 4 Substrate 1

NAC:

NAM, ATAF and CUC family of transcription factors

NPR1:

Nonexpresser of PR1 gene

PR2 :

Pathogenesis-related protein2

PRRs:

Pattern Recognition Receptors

R gene:

Resistance gene

RdDM:

RNA-directed DNA methylation

SA:

Salicylic Acid

SAR:

Systemic Acquired Resistance

SIPK:

Salicylic acid Induced Protein Kinase

TAIR:

The Arabidopsis Information Resource

TFs:

Transcription Factors

TSSs:

Transcription start sites

VIGS:

Virus Induced Gene Silencing

WIPK:

Wound Induced Protein Kinase

WRKY:

Transcription factors with WRKYGQK motif

ZFPS:

Zinc Finger Proteins

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India for NIPGR core grant and BIOCARE grant for postdoctoral fellowship to PK. We acknowledge DBT-eLibrary Consortium (DeLCON) for providing access to e-resources.

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JV contributed to the development of the concept and the design of the review. PK wrote the manuscript with contributions from JV. Both the authors have read and approved the submitted version.

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Correspondence to Jyothilakshmi Vadassery.

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Kundu, P., Vadassery, J. Role of WRKY transcription factors in plant defense against lepidopteran insect herbivores: an overview. J. Plant Biochem. Biotechnol. 30, 698–707 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13562-021-00730-9

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