J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2020, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (11): 1659-1673.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12946

Special Issue: Flowering

• Cell and Developmental Biology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

WRKY transcription factors WRKY12 and WRKY13 interact with SPL10 to modulate age-mediated flowering

Zhenbing Ma1,2, Wei Li4, Houping Wang2,3* and Diqiu Yu2,3*   

  1. 1School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China
    2CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resources and Sustainable Use, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China
    3State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio‐Resources in Yunnan, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
    4School of Horticulture, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China

    Email: Houping Wang (hpwang234@163.com); Diqiu Yu (ydq@ynu.edu.cn, Dr. Yu is fully responsible for the distribution of the materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2020-02-13 Accepted:2020-04-30 Online:2020-05-12 Published:2020-11-01


WRKY12 and WRKY13 are two WRKY transcription factors that play important roles in the control of flowering time under short‐day (SD) conditions. The temporally regulated expression of WRKY12 and WRKY13 indicates that they may be involved in the age‐mediated flowering pathway. However, their roles in this pathway are poorly understood. Here, we show that the transcription of WRKY12 and WRKY13 is directly regulated by SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING–LIKE 10 (SPL10), a transcription factor downstream of the age pathway. Binding and activation analyses revealed that SPL10 functions as a positive regulator of WRKY12 and a negative regulator of WRKY13. Further mechanistic investigation revealed that WRKY12 and WRKY13 physically interact with SPL10 and that both of them bind to the promoter of miR172b. Thus, the WRKY12‐SPL10 and WRKY13‐SPL10 interactions facilitate and inhibit SPL10 transcriptional function, respectively, to regulate miR172b expression. Together, our results show that WRKY12 and WRKY13 participate in the control of age‐mediated flowering under SD conditions though physically interacting with SPLs and co‐regulating the target gene miR172b.

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