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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2017, Vol. 16 Issue (01): 27-35    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61367-9
Crop Genetics · Breeding · Germplasm Resources Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Expression and functional analyses of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MPK) cascade genes in response to phytohormones in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
YAO Su-fei2*, WANG Yan-xia3*, YANG Tong-ren2, HAO Lin1, 2, LU Wen-jing2, XIAO Kai1
College of Agronomy, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071001, P.R.China
2 College of Life Sciences, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071001, P.R.China
3 Shijiazhuang Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050041, P.R.China
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Abstract  Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MPK) cascades consist of a set of kinase types (MPKKKs, MPKKs, MPKs) to establish
conserved signal-transducing modules mediating plant growth, development as well as responses to internal and external
cues. In this study, the expression patterns of six MPKKK, two MPKK, and 11 MPK genes in wheat in responses to external
treatments of phytohormones, including naphthylacetic acid (NAA), abscisic acid (ABA), 6-benzyladenine (6-BA), gibberellin
(GA3), salisylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ETH), were investigated. Expression analysis revealed
that several of the MPK cascade genes are responses to the external phytohormone signaling. Of which, TaMPKKKA;3
is induced by 6-BA and NAA while TaMPK4 repressed by ETH, GA3, SA, and JA; TaMPKKKA, TaMPKKKA;3 and TaMPK1
are down-regulated by ETH and GA3 whereas TaMPK9 and TaMPK12 repressed by ETH and JA in addition that TaMPK12
also repressed by GA3; TaMPK12;1 is down-regulated by ABA, GA3 and SA while TaMPK17 repressed by all exogenous
phytonormones examined. TaMPK4, a MPK type gene previously characterized to mediate tolerance to phosphate (Pi)
deprivation, was functionally evaluated for its role in mediation of responses of plants to exogenous GA3, ETH, SA, and JA.
Results indicated that overexpression and antisense expression of TaMPK4 in tobacco dramatically modify the growth of
seedlings upon treatments of GA3, SA and JA, in which the overexpressors behaved deteriorated growth feature whereas
the seedlings with antisense expression of TaMPK4 exhibited improved seedling phenotype. The growth behaviors in
lines overexpressing or antisensely expressing TaMPK4 are closely associated with the biomass and the corresponding
hormone-associated parameters. These results demonstrated that TaMPK4 acts as a critical player in mediating the phytohormone
signaling. Our findings have identified the phytohormone-responsive MPK cascade genes in wheat and provided
a connection between the phytohormone-mediated responses and the MPK cascade pathways.
Keywords:  wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)      phytohormone      mitogen-activated protein kinase (MPK) cascade      expression, transgene analysis  
Received: 28 December 2015   Accepted:

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31371618, 31201674), the National Transgenic Major Program of China (2011ZX08008) and the Key Laboratory of Crop Growth Regulation of Hebei Province, China.

Corresponding Authors:  XIAO Kai, Tel: +86-312-7528115, Fax: +86-312-7528400, E-mail:; LU Wen-jing, Tel: +86-312-7528246, Fax: +86-312-7528200, E-mail:    

Cite this article: 

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