Expression of a WIPK-Activated Transcription Factor Results in Increase of Endogenous Salicylic Acid and Pathogen Resistance in Tobacco Plants

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NtWIF is a transcription factor activated upon phosphorylation by wound-induced protein kinase (WIPK) in tobacco plants. Transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing NtWIF exhibited constitutive accumulation of transcripts for pathogenesis-related genes, PR-1a and PR-2. Salicylic acid levels were 50-fold higher than those in wild-type plants. The levels of jasmonic acid and IAA did not significantly differ, while an increase of ABA upon wounding was delayed by 3 h in the transgenics. When challenged with tobacco mosaic virus, lesions developed faster and were smaller in the transgenic plants. The results suggest that NtWIF is likely to influence salicylic acid biosynthesis, being located downstream of WIPK.

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