Identification and expression analysis of the WRKY gene family in Isatis indigotica.Gene. 2021 May 30; 783:145561.GENE
The WRKY proteins, which represent one of the largest families of transcriptional regulators in plants, play pivotal roles in regulating multiple processes of growth and development, particularly in diverse stress responses. Isatis indigotica is widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is famous for its use as a dye for the color indigo. However, reports of the WRKY gene family in I. indigotica are limited. In this study, 64 IiWRKY genes encoding proteins with the complete WRKY domain were identified from genome of I. indigotica. Based on their structure and phylogenetic relationships of this gene family in I. indigotica, the IiWRKY genes were classified into three groups: Group I (n = 13), Group II (n = 35) and Group III (n = 16). Sequence alignment revealed that IiWRKY proteins harbored two variants, WRKYRQK and WRKYGKK, of the highly conserved WRKYGQK motif. The number of exons in IiWRKY genes varied from two to 14, with most of IiWRKY genes containing three exons. Investigation of gene duplication demonstrated that 10 and 14 IiWRKY genes were incorporated in tandem and segmental duplication events, respectively. Finally, the expression profiles derived from transcriptome data and quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed distinct expression patterns of these IiWRKY gene in five different organs or in response to four abiotic stresses. Taken together, our results will contribute to functional analysis of IiWRKY genes, and also provide a basis for further clarification of the molecular mechanism of stress responses in this important herb.