J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2020, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (8): 1176-1192.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12888

Special Issue: Nutrition and stress Protein modification

• Plant-abiotic Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A WRKY transcription factor confers aluminum tolerance via regulation of cell wall modifying genes

Chun Xiao Li1, Jing Ying Yan2, Jiang Yuan Ren1, Li Sun1, Chen Xu1, Gui Xin Li3, Zhong Jie Ding1* and Shao Jian Zheng1   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
    2Agricultural Experiment Station, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
    3College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China

    *correspondence: Zhong Jie Ding (zjding@zju.edu.cn)
  • Received:2019-08-27 Accepted:2019-11-14 Online:2019-11-15 Published:2020-08-01


Modification of cell wall properties has been considered as one of the determinants that confer aluminum (Al) tolerance in plants, while how cell wall modifying processes are regulated remains elusive. Here, we present a WRKY transcription factor WRKY47 involved in Al tolerance and root growth. Lack of WRKY47 significantly reduces, while overexpression of it increases Al tolerance. We show that lack of WRKY47 substantially affects subcellular Al distribution in the root, with Al content decreased in apoplast and increased in symplast, which is attributed to the reduced cell wall Al‐binding capacity conferred by the decreased content of hemicellulose I in the wrky47‐1 mutant. Based on microarray, real time‐quantitative polymerase chain reaction and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we further show that WRKY47 directly regulates the expression of EXTENSIN‐LIKE PROTEIN (ELP ) and XYLOGLUCAN ENDOTRANSGLUCOSYLASE‐HYDROLASES17 (XTH17 ) responsible for cell wall modification. Increasing the expression of ELP and XTH17 rescued Al tolerance as well as root growth in wrky47‐1 mutant. In summary, our results demonstrate that WRKY47 is required for root growth under both normal and Al stress conditions via direct regulation of cell wall modification genes, and that the balance of Al distribution between root apoplast and symplast conferred by WRKY47 is important for Al tolerance.

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