AtWRKY22 promotes susceptibility to aphids and modulates salicylic acid and jasmonic acid signalling

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Abstract

Aphids induce many transcriptional perturbations in their host plants, but the signalling cascades responsible and the effects on plant resistance are largely unknown. Through a genome-wide association (GWA) mapping study in
Arabidopsis thaliana, we identified WRKY22 as a candidate gene associated with feeding behaviour of the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. The transcription factor WRKY22 is known to be involved in pathogen-triggered immunity, and
WRKY22 gene expression has been shown to be induced by aphids. Assessment of aphid population development and feeding behaviour on knockout mutants and overexpression lines showed that WRKY22 increases susceptibility
to M. persicae via a mesophyll-located mechanism. mRNA sequencing analysis of aphid-infested wrky22 knockout plants revealed the up-regulation of genes involved in salicylic acid (SA) signalling and down-regulation of genes
involved in plant growth and cell-wall loosening. In addition, echanostimulation of knockout plants by clip cages up-regulated jasmonic acid (JA)-responsive genes, resulting in substantial negative JA–SA crosstalk. Based on this
and previous studies, WRKY22 is considered to modulate the interplay between the SA and JA pathways in response to a wide range of biotic and abiotic stimuli. Its induction by aphids and its role in suppressing SA and JA signalling
make WRKY22 a potential target for aphids to manipulate host plant defences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3383-3396
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2016

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