Modulation of defense signal transduction by flagellin-induced WRKY41 transcription factor in Arabidopsis thaliana

Mol Genet Genomics. 2008 Mar;279(3):303-12. doi: 10.1007/s00438-007-0315-0. Epub 2008 Jan 25.


Flagellin, a component of the flagellar filament of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci 6605 (Pta), induces hypersensitive reaction in its non-host Arabidopsis thaliana. We identified the WRKY41 gene, which belongs to a multigene family encoding WRKY plant-specific transcription factors, as one of the flagellin-inducible genes in A. thaliana. Expression of WRKY41 is induced by inoculation with the incompatible pathogen P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pto) possessing AvrRpt2 and the non-host pathogens Pta within 6-h after inoculation, but not by inoculation with the compatible Pto. Expression of WRKY41 was also induced by inoculation of A. thaliana with an hrp-type three secretion system (T3SS)-defective mutant of Pto, indicating that effectors produced by T3SS in the Pto wild-type suppress the activation of WRKY41. Arabidopsis overexpressing WRKY41 showed enhanced resistance to the Pto wild-type but increased susceptibility to Erwinia carotovora EC1. WRKY41-overexpressing Arabidopsis constitutively expresses the PR5 gene, but suppresses the methyl jasmonate-induced PDF1.2 gene expression. These results demonstrate that WRKY41 may be a key regulator in the cross talk of salicylic acid and jasmonic acid pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / drug effects*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Flagellin / toxicity*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genes, Plant
  • Pectobacterium carotovorum / pathogenicity
  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas syringae / pathogenicity
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • WRKY53 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Flagellin