WRKY gene super-family, one of the largest transcription factor gene families, has been suggested to play important roles in the regulation of transcriptional reprogramming associated with plant stress responses. Much progress in WRKY transcription factors' functional research has been obtained over the past 15 years. However, most of advances are related with the involvement in biotic stresses, and there are few examples of functional research into abiotic stresses.
Prof. Yu Diqiu and his research team of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) reviewed recent progress made in starting to reveal the role of WRKY transcription factors in plant abiotic stresses.
Modification of the expression patterns of WRKY genes and/or changes in their activity contribute to the elaboration of various signaling pathways and regulatory networks. Furthermore, a single WRKY gene often responds to several stress factors, and then their proteins may participate in the regulation of several seemingly disparate processes as negative or positive regulators. WRKY proteins also function via protein-protein interaction and autoregulation or cross-regulation is extensively recorded among WRKY genes, which help researchers understand the complex mechanisms of signaling and transcriptional reprogramming controlled by WRKY proteins.
The review entitled “The role of WRKY transcription factors in plant abiotic stresses” is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant gene regulation in response to abiotic stress in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Gene Regulatory Mechanisms, doi:10.1016/j.bbagrm.2011.09.002.