Transcriptome analysis of WRKY gene family in Oryza officinalis Wall ex Watt and WRKY genes involved in responses to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae stress

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Oryza officinalis Wall ex Watt, a very important and special wild rice species, shows abundant genetic diversity and disease resistance features, especially high resistance to bacterial blight. The molecular mechanisms of bacterial blight resistance in O. officinalis have not yet been elucidated. The WRKY transcription factor family is one of the largest gene families involved in plant growth, development and stress response. However, little is known about the numbers, structure, molecular phylogenetics, and expression of the WRKY genes under Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) stress in O. officinalis due to lacking of O. officinalis genome. Therefore, based on the RNA-sequencing data of O. officinalis, we performed a comprehensive study of WRKY genes in O. officinalis and identified 89 OoWRKY genes. Then 89 OoWRKY genes were classified into three groups based on the WRKY domains and zinc finger motifs. Phylogenetic analysis strongly supported that the evolution of OoWRKY genes were consistent with previous studies of WRKYs, and subgroup IIc OoWRKY genes were the original ancestors of some group II and group III OoWRKYs. Among the 89 OoWRKY genes, eight OoWRKYs displayed significantly different expression (>2-fold, p<0.01) in the O. officinalis transcriptome under Xoo strains PXO99 and C5 stress 48 h, suggesting these genes might play important role in PXO99 and C5 stress responses in O. officinalis. QRT-PCR analysis and confirmation of eight OoWRKYs expression patterns revealed that they responded strongly to PXO99 and C5 stress 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h, and the trends of these genes displaying marked changes were consistent with the 48 h RNA-sequencing data, demonstrated these genes played important roles in response to biotic stress and might even involved in the bacterial blight resistance. Tissue expression profiles of eight OoWRKY genes revealed that they were highly expressed in root, stem, leaf, and flower, especially in leaf (except OoWRKY71), suggesting these genes might be also important for plant growth and organ development. In this study, we analyzed the WRKY family of transcription factors in O.officinalis. Insight was gained into the classification, evolution, and function of the OoWRKY genes, revealing the putative roles of eight significantly different expression OoWRKYs in Xoo strains PXO99 and C5 stress responses in O.officinalis. This study provided a better understanding of the evolution and functions of O. officinalis WRKY genes, and suggested that manipulating eight significantly different expression OoWRKYs would enhance resistance to bacterial blight. © 2017 Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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