TaWRKY79, from a wheat variety with adult resistance, negatively confers wheat resistance to stripe rust at seedling stage
Wheat adult plant resistance (APR) to stripe rust, a non-race-specific and durable resistance, is ideal for breeding. However, the knowledge concerning APR mechanism is largely limited. In order to further investigate the molecular basics of APR to provide guidance for wheat breeding, we conducted the transcriptome sequencing of wheat XZ9104 infected by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) at seeding and adult stages, respectively. Comparative analysis revealed that many WRKY transcription factors (TFs) may participate in the APR to stripe rust, of which, TaWRKY79 transcript levels were sharply elevated at the early infection stage in seedling plants. To dissect the relationship between TaWRKY79 and APR, we further studied the function of TaWRKY79. Subcellular localization showed that TaWRKY79 is located in the nuclear, and TaWRKY79 protein contains a separated region for mediating transcriptional activation at the C-terminus (246-328 aa) by yeast one-hybrid analysis. When TaWRKY79 was silenced by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) in seedling plants, the Pst growth was attenuated, with shortened hyphae, reduced hyphal branches and colony size. Meanwhile, the expression of TaWRKY79 was highly suppressed by salicylic acid (SA) but induced by jasmonic acid (JA) in seedling of wheat, and the transcription levels of LOX2 and PDF2.2 were significantly reduced, but the expression of PR1.1 was enhanced in TaWRKY79 knocking-down seedlings of wheat. Hence, these findings suggested that TaWRKY79, as a SA/JA cross talk, might play a negative role in resistance defence response to Pst infection at seeding stage by simultaneously activating the JA-dependent pathway and suppressing the SA-dependent pathway.