WRKY transcription factors in plant responses to stresses

Jingjing Jiang*, Shenghui Ma, Nenghui Ye, Ming Jiang, Jiashu Cao, Jianhua Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

633 Citations (Scopus)


The WRKY gene family is among the largest families of transcription factors (TFs) in higher plants. By regulating the plant hormone signal transduction pathway, these TFs play critical roles in some plant processes in response to biotic and abiotic stress. Various bodies of research have demonstrated the important biological functions of WRKY TFs in plant response to different kinds of biotic and abiotic stresses and working mechanisms. However, very little summarization has been done to review their research progress. Not just important TFs function in plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses, WRKY also participates in carbohydrate synthesis, senescence, development, and secondary metabolites synthesis. WRKY proteins can bind to W-box (TGACC (A/T)) in the promoter of its target genes and activate or repress the expression of downstream genes to regulate their stress response. Moreover, WRKY proteins can interact with other TFs to regulate plant defensive responses. In the present review, we focus on the structural characteristics of WRKY TFs and the research progress on their functions in plant responses to a variety of stresses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-101
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Integrative Plant Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Plant Science


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