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Transcription factor OsWRKY11 induces rice heading at low concentrations but inhibits rice heading at high concentrations

First Author: Zhao, Lirong
Abstract: The heading date of rice is a crucial agronomic characteristic that influences its adaptability to different regions and its productivity potential. Despite the involvement of WRKY transcription factors in various biological processes related to development, the precise mechanisms through which these transcription factors regulate the heading date in rice have not been well elucidated. The present study identified OsWRKY11 as a WRKY transcription factor which exhibits a pivotal function in the regulation of the heading date in rice through a comprehensive screening of a clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) - CRISPR-associated nuclease 9 mutant library that specifically targets the WRKY genes in rice. The heading date of oswrky11 mutant plants and OsWRKY11-overexpressing plants was delayed compared with that of the wild-type plants under short-day and long-day conditions. Mechanistic investigation revealed that OsWRKY11 exerts dual effects on transcriptional promotion and suppression through direct and indirect DNA binding, respectively. Under normal conditions, OsWRKY11 facilitates flowering by directly inducing the expression of OsMADS14 and OsMADS15. The presence of elevated levels of OsWRKY11 protein promote formation of a ternary protein complex involving OsWRKY11, Heading date 1 (Hd1), and Days to heading date 8 (DTH8), and this complex then suppresses the expression of Ehd1, which leads to a delay in the heading date. Subsequent investigation revealed that a mild drought condition resulted in a modest increase in OsWRKY11 expression, promoting heading. Conversely, under severe drought conditions, a significant upregulation of OsWRKY11 led to the suppression of Ehd1 expression, ultimately causing a delay in heading date. Our findings uncover a previously unacknowledged mechanism through which the transcription factor OsWRKY11 exerts a dual impact on the heading date by directly and indirectly binding to the promoters of target genes.
Contact the author: Wang, HP; Yu, DQ
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Impact Factor: 11.4
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PubYear: 2024
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