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Title: Genome-wide identification of WRKY family genes and their response to cold stress in Vitis vinifera

item WANG, L - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item ZHU, W - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item FANG, L - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item SUN, X - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item SU, L - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item WANG, N - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item LIANG, Z - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item Londo, Jason
item LI, S - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item XIN, H - Chinese Academy Of Sciences

Submitted to: BMC Plant Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/11/2014
Publication Date: 4/22/2014
Citation: Wang, L., Zhu, W., Fang, L., Sun, X., Su, L., Wang, N., Liang, Z., Londo, J.P., Li, S., Xin, H. 2014. Genome-wide identification of WRKY family genes and their response to cold stress in Vitis vinifera. Biomed Central (BMC) Plant Biology. 14(1):103. DOI:10.1186/1471-2229-14-103.

Interpretive Summary: Many different plant gene families play important roles in development and response to stresses. One of the largest families is the WRKY family. Members of this family are important in controlling the plants ability to respond to stressful abiotic or biotic conditions. As grapevine production is limited by stressful climatic conditions such as cold stress, we examined the role of this gene family in grapevine. The published grapevine genome was examined for genes which have the characteristics of the WRKY gene family. 59 genes were identified and most of these genes were found to be expressed in multiple plant tissue types (e.g. leaf and root). We also examined previously published studies of grapevine WRKY genes in order to correlate the data between experiments and determine the function of different WRKY gene family members. These methods allowed us to identify 15 of the 59 WRKYs which respond to cold stress-induced conditions. These genes represent candidate genes for improving grapevine’s ability to respond to and survive cold stress.

Technical Abstract: WRKY transcription factors are one of the largest families of transcriptional regulators in plants. WRKY genes are not only found to play significant roles in biotic and abiotic stress response, but also regulate growth and development. Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) production is largely limited by stressful climate conditions such as cold stress and the role of WRKY genes in the survival of grapevine under these conditions remains unknown. We identified a total of 59 VvWRKYs from the V. vinifera genome, belonging to four subgroups according to conserved WRKY domains and zinc-finger structure. The majority of VvWRKYs were expressed in more than one tissue among the 7 tissues examined which included young leaves, mature leaves, tendril, stem apex, root, young fruits and ripe fruits. Publicly available microarray data suggested that a subset of VvWRKYs was activated in response to diverse stresses. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) results demonstrated that the expression levels of 36 VvWRKYs are changed following cold exposure. Comparative analysis was performed on data from publicly available microarray experiments, previous global transcriptome analysis studies, and qRT-PCR. We identified 15 VvWRKYs in at least two of these databases which may relate to cold stress. Among them, the transcription of three genes can be induced by exogenous ABA application, suggesting that they can be involved in an ABA-dependent signaling pathway in response to cold stress. We identified 59 VvWRKYs from the V. vinifera genome and 15 of them showed cold stress-induced expression patterns. These genes represented candidate genes for future functional analysis of VvWRKYs involved in the low temperature-related signal pathways in grape.