Isolation and Characterization of CsWRKY7, a Subgroup IId WRKY Transcription Factor from Camellia sinensis, Linked to Development in Arabidopsis.Int J Mol Sci 2019; 20(11)IJ
WRKY transcription factors (TFs) containing one or two WRKY domains are a class of plant TFs that respond to diverse abiotic stresses and are associated with developmental processes. However, little has been known about the function of WRKY gene in tea plant. In this study, a subgroup IId WRKY gene CsWRKY7 was isolated from Camellia sinensis, which displayed amino acid sequence homology with Arabidopsis AtWRKY7 and AtWRKY15. Subcellular localization prediction indicated that CsWRKY7 localized to nucleus. Cis-acting elements detected in the promotor region of CsWRKY7 are mainly involved in plant response to environmental stress and growth. Consistently, expression analysis showed that CsWRKY7 transcripts responded to NaCl, mannitol, PEG, and diverse hormones treatments. Additionally, CsWRKY7 exhibited a higher accumulation both in old leaves and roots compared to bud. Seed germination and root growth assay indicated that overexpressed CsWRKY7 in transgenic Arabidopsis was not sensitive to NaCl, mannitol, PEG, and low concentration of ABA treatments. CsWRKY7 overexpressing Arabidopsis showed a late-flowering phenotype under normal conditions compared to wild type. Furthermore, gene expression analysis showed that the transcription levels of the flowering time integrator gene FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and the floral meristem identity genes APETALA1 (AP1) and LEAFY (LFY) were lower in WRKY7-OE than in the WT. Taken together, these findings indicate that CsWRKY7 TF may participate in plant growth. This study provides a potential strategy to breed late-blooming tea cultivar.