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Most WRKY transcription factors activate expression of defence genes in a salicylic acid- and/or jasmonic acid-dependent signalling pathway. We previously identified a WRKY gene, VvWRKY1, which is able to enhance tolerance to fungal pathogens when it is overexpressed in tobacco. The present work analyzes the effects of VvWRKY1 overexpression in grapevine. Microarray analysis showed that genes encoding defence-related proteins were up-regulated in the leaves of transgenic 35S::VvWRKY1 grapevines. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed that three genes putatively involved in jasmonic acid signalling pathway were overexpressed in the transgenic grapes. The ability of VvWRKY1 to trans-activate the promoters of these genes was demonstrated by transient expression in grape protoplasts. The resistance to the causal agent of downy mildew, Plasmopara viticola, was enhanced in the transgenic plants. These results show that VvWRKY1 can increase resistance of grapevine against the downy mildew through transcriptional reprogramming leading to activation of the jasmonic acid signalling pathway.

Citation

Chloé Marchive, Céline Léon, Christian Kappel, Pierre Coutos-Thévenot, Marie-France Corio-Costet, Serge Delrot, Virginie Lauvergeat. Over-expression of VvWRKY1 in grapevines induces expression of jasmonic acid pathway-related genes and confers higher tolerance to the downy mildew. PloS one. 2013;8(1):e54185

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PMID: 23342101

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