Xiaojie Tian, first author of “WRKY53 Integrates Classic Brassinosteroid Signaling and the Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Pathway to Regulate Rice Architecture and Seed Size”
Current Position: Research associate, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Harbin, China
Education: Ph.D., Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Harbin, China
Non-scientific Interests: riding, swimming, dancing
In September 2012, I joined the Bu Qingyun’ lab in the Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and started my Ph.D study. I generated a number of transgenic lines in which diverse transcription factors were overexpressed. Among them, OsWRKY53 overexpression lines with the significantly increased leaf angle and grain size was chosen for further study. we found that OsWRKY53 is the phosphorylated substrate of OsMAPK6, and positively regulates BR signaling and rice architecture, and the relative result was published in Plant physiology in 2017. After I finished my PhD study, I, as a research associate, continued to investigate the role and mechanism of OsWRKY53 in the BR signal transduction pathway. we found that OsWRKY53 interacts with and is phosphorylated by OsGSK2, a major negative regulator of BR signaling. OsGSK2 destabilizes the protein stability of OsWRKY53, and genetic evidence supports that OsWRKY53 functions downstream of OsGSK2. simultaneously, we found OsWRKY53 also interacts with OsBZR1, and they coordinately regulate BR signaling in a parallel relationship. consistent with previous results, we also provided more genetic data supporting that OsWRKY53 is a downstream target gene of MAPK signalling as well. Therefore, these founding suggest that WRKY53 might function as a common target of GSK2 and MAPK6 to mediate the cross-talk between BR and MAPK signalling pathway, which not only reveal the mechanism of WRKY53 in regulating the seed size and leaf angle, but also strengthen our understanding of the BR and MAPK signalling pathway.