Original articles
Ying Xiao, Jingxian Feng, Qing Li, Yangyun Zhou, Qitao Bu, Junhui Zhou, Hexin Tan, Yingbo Yang, Lei Zhang, Wansheng Chen. IiWRKY34 positively regulates yield, lignan biosynthesis and stress tolerance in Isatis indigotica[J]. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, 2020, 10(12): 2417-2432

IiWRKY34 positively regulates yield, lignan biosynthesis and stress tolerance in Isatis indigotica
Ying Xiaoa, Jingxian Fenga, Qing Lib, Yangyun Zhoub, Qitao Buc, Junhui Zhoud, Hexin Tanc, Yingbo Yange, Lei Zhangc, Wansheng Chena,b
a Research and Development Center of Chinese Medicine Resources and Biotechnology, Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China;
b Department of Pharmacy, Changzheng Hospital, Naval Medical University(Second Military Medical University), Shanghai 200003, China;
c Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, School of Pharmacy, Naval Medical University(Second Military Medical University), Shanghai 200433, China;
d National Resource Center for Chinese Meteria Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China;
e Kanion Research Institute, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
Yield potential, pharmaceutical compounds production and stress tolerance capacity are 3 classes of traits that determine the quality of medicinal plants. The autotetraploid Isatis indigotica has greater yield, higher bioactive lignan accumulation and enhanced stress tolerance compared with its diploid progenitor. Here we show that the transcription factor IiWRKY34, with higher expression levels in tetraploid than in diploid I. indigotica, has large pleiotropic effects on an array of traits, including biomass growth rates, lignan biosynthesis, as well as salt and drought stress tolerance. Integrated analysis of transcriptome and metabolome profiling demonstrated that IiWRKY34 expression had far-reaching consequences on both primary and secondary metabolism, reprograming carbon flux towards phenylpropanoids, such as lignans and flavonoids. Transcript-metabolite correlation analysis was applied to construct the regulatory network of IiWRKY34 for lignan biosynthesis. One candidate target Ii4CL3, a key rate-limiting enzyme of lignan biosynthesis as indicated in our previous study, has been demonstrated to indeed be activated by IiWRKY34. Collectively, the results indicate that the differentially expressed IiWRKY34 has contributed significantly to the polyploidy vigor of I. indigotica, and manipulation of this gene will facilitate comprehensive improvements of I. indigotica herb.
Key words:    Polyploidy vigor    WRKY transcription factor    Biomass production    Lignan biosynthesis    Stress tolerance   
Received: 2019-11-06     Revised: 2019-11-14
DOI: 10.1016/j.apsb.2019.12.020
Funds: This work was sponsored by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31872665, 81874335 and 31670292) and Shanghai Rising-Star Program (18QB1402700, China).
Corresponding author: Lei Zhang, smmuipb@163.com;Wansheng Chen, chenwansheng@smmu.edu.cn     Email:smmuipb@163.com;chenwansheng@smmu.edu.cn
Author description:
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Ying Xiao
Jingxian Feng
Qing Li
Yangyun Zhou
Qitao Bu
Junhui Zhou
Hexin Tan
Yingbo Yang
Lei Zhang
Wansheng Chen

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