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OsWRKY13 Mediates Rice Disease Resistance by Regulating Defense-Related Genes in Salicylate- and Jasmonate-Dependent Signaling

May 2007 , Volume 20 , Number  5
Pages  492 - 499

Deyun Qiu , Jun Xiao , Xinhua Ding , Min Xiong , Meng Cai , Yinglong Cao , Xianghua Li , Caiguo Xu , and Shiping Wang

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, National Center for Plant Gene Research (Wuhan), Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China

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Accepted 3 December 2006.

Although 109 WRKY genes have been identified in the rice genome, the functions of most are unknown. Here, we show that OsWRKY13 plays a pivotal role in rice disease resistance. Overexpression of OsWRKY13 can enhance rice resistance to bacterial blight and fungal blast, two of the most devastating diseases of rice worldwide, at both the seedling and adult stages, and shows no influence on the fertility. This overexpression was accompanied by the activation of salicylic acid (SA) synthesis-related genes and SA-responsive genes and the suppression of jasmonic acid (JA) synthesis-related genes and JA-responsive genes. OsWRKY13 bound to the promoters of its own and at least three other genes in SA- and JA-dependent signaling pathways. Its DNA-binding activity was influenced by pathogen infection. These results suggest that OsWRKY13, as an activator of the SA-dependent pathway and a suppressor of JA-dependent pathways, mediates rice resistance by directly or indirectly regulating the expression of a subset of genes acting both upstream and downstream of SA and JA. Furthermore, OsWRKY13 will provide a transgenic tool for engineering wider-spectrum and whole-growth-stage resistance rice in breeding programs.

Additional keyword: Oryza sativa.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society