Ka Zhang: Plant Physiology First Author

Ka Zhang, first author of “Transcription factor WRKY28 curbs WRKY33-mediated resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Brassica napus

Current Position: Crop Research Institute, Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, research associate

Education: Huazhong Agricultural University, Crop genetics and breeding, PhD

Non-scientific Interests: basketball, singing

Brief bio: Under the guidance of Prof. Tingdong Fu and Prof. Jinxing Tu, I finished my PhD degree in National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement of Huazhong Agricultural University, exploring the molecular mechanism of WRKY transcription factor involving in the response to sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Brassica napus. The main results are as follows: 1, WRKY28 negatively regulates Sclerotinia resistance by targeting WRKY33; 2, WRKY33 is phosphorylated and activated by a conserved MAPK cascade mediated by MAPKK5-MAPK3; 3, WRKY28 and WRKY33 competitively bind to the promoter of WRKY33; VQ12 interacts physically with WRKY28 to form a protein complex, causing WRKY28 to outcompete WRKY33 and bind to the WRKY33 promoter. 4, WRKY28 promoted the formation of branches in B. napus. These results indicate that in the early stage of defense, plants dominate defense through immune system activation, with constant infection, “brake factors” work to avoid excessive defense and promote growth. This study suggests that B. napus plants may modulate defense-response strength and develop alternative reproduction and survival strategies in the face of lethal pathogens.

All co-authors and I are sincerely delightful and honored that this work was published by Plant Physiology.





个人简介:在华中农业大学作物遗传改良全国重点实验室,我师从傅廷栋院士和涂金星教授,从事解析WRKY转录因子参与甘蓝型油菜菌核病响应的作用机制的研究工作。主要研究结果如下:1. WRKY28通过靶向WRKY33负调控油菜菌核病抗性; 2. WRKY33被MAPKK5-MAPK3介导的保守MAPK级联磷酸化激活; 3. WRKY28和WRKY33竞争性结合WRKY33的启动子,VQ12与WRKY28相互作用并形成蛋白质复合物,帮助WRKY28优先于WRKY33与WRKY33的启动子结合; 4. WRKY28促进甘蓝型油菜侧枝形成。这些结果表明,在防御的早期阶段,植物体通过激活免疫系统使防御占据主导,而随着防御反应持续进行,植物体为避免过度防御从而“踩下防御刹车”并促进生长。这项研究表明,在面对致命性病原菌危害时,甘蓝型油菜植物可能通过动态调节防御反应强度,以增加生存繁衍的机会。我和我的合作者为这篇文章发表在Plant Physiology上感到由衷地高兴和荣幸。