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Article|01 Sep 2020|OPEN
Woodland strawberry WRKY71 acts as a promoter of flowering via a transcriptional regulatory cascade
Yingying Lei1, Yiping Sun1, Baotian Wang1, Shuang Yu1, Hongyan Dai1, He Li1, Zhihong Zhang1 & Junxiang Zhang1,
1Liaoning Key Laboratory of Strawberry Breeding and Cultivation, College of Horticulture, Shenyang Agricultural University, 120 Dongling Road, Shenyang 110866, China

Horticulture Research 7,
Article number: 137 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2020.137
Views: 412

Received: 09 Jan 2020
Revised: 14 May 2020
Accepted: 16 Jun 2020
Published online: 01 Sep 2020

Abstract

The WRKY proteins are a large family of transcription factors that play important roles in stress responses and plant development. However, the roles of most WRKYs in strawberry are not well known. In this study, FvWRKY71 was isolated from the woodland strawberry ‘Ruegen’. FvWRKY71 was highly expressed in the shoot apex and red fruit. Subcellular localization analysis showed that FvWRKY71 was located in the nucleus. Transactivation analysis showed that FvWRKY71 presented transcriptional activation activity in yeast. Overexpression of FvWRKY71 in Arabidopsis and woodland strawberry revealed early flowering in the transgenic plants compared with the wild-type control. Gene expression analysis indicated that the transcript levels of the flowering time and development integrator genes AP1, LFY, FT, AGL42, FUL, FPF1, SEP1, SEP2, and SEP3 were increased in FvWRKY71-overexpressing Arabidopsis and strawberry plants compared with the wild-type controls, which may result in accelerated flowering in transgenic plants. Furthermore, FvWRKY71 was proven to directly bind to the W-boxes (TTGACT/C) of the FvFUL, FvSEP1, FvAGL42, FvLFY, and FvFPF1 promoters in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our results reveal a transcriptional regulatory cascade of FvWRKY71 involved in promoting flowering in woodland strawberry.