J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2023, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (11): 2437-2455.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13562

• Abiotic Stress Responses • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The SlWRKY57-SlVQ21/SlVQ16 module regulates salt stress in tomato

Jilin Ma1†, Chonghua Li1†, Lulu Sun1,2, Xuechun Ma1, Hui Qiao1, Wenchao Zhao1,2, Rui Yang2, Susheng Song3, Shaohui Wang1,2 and Huang Huang1,2*   

  1. 1. Plant Science and Technology College, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing 102206, China;
    2. Beijing Key Laboratory for Agricultural Application and New Technique, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing 102206, China;
    3. College of Life Sciences, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence:Huang Huang(hhuangbua2017@163.com)
  • Received:2023-06-03 Accepted:2023-08-28 Online:2023-09-04 Published:2023-11-01

Abstract: Salt stress is a major abiotic stress which severely hinders crop production. However, the regulatory network controlling tomato resistance to salt remains unclear. Here, we found that the tomato WRKY transcription factor WRKY57 acted as a negative regulator in salt stress response by directly attenuating the transcription of salt-responsive genes (SlRD29B and SlDREB2) and an ion homeostasis gene (SlSOS1). We further identified two VQ-motif containing proteins SlVQ16 and SlVQ21 as SlWRKY57-interacting proteins. SlVQ16 positively, while SlVQ21 negatively modulated tomato resistance to salt stress. SlVQ16 and SlVQ21 competitively interacted with SlWRKY57 and antagonistically regulated the transcriptional repression activity of SlWRKY57. Additionally, the SlWRKY57-SlVQ21/SlVQ16 module was involved in the pathway of phytohormone jasmonates (JAs) by interacting with JA repressors JA-ZIM domain (JAZ) proteins. These results provide new insights into how the SlWRKY57-SlVQ21/SlVQ16 module finely tunes tomato salt tolerance.

Key words: jasmonates, salt stress, tomato, VQ protein, WRKY transcription factor

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