Transcription factors involved in drought tolerance and their possible role in developing drought tolerant cultivars with emphasis on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Gahlaut, V.; Jaiswal, V.; Kumar, A.; Gupta, P.K.
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 129(11): 2019-2042
TFs involved in drought tolerance in plants may be utilized in future for developing drought tolerant cultivars of wheat and some other crops. Plants have developed a fairly complex stress response system to deal with drought and other abiotic stresses. These response systems often make use of transcription factors (TFs); a gene encoding a specific TF together with -its target genes constitute a regulon, and take part in signal transduction to activate/silence genes involved in response to drought. Since, five specific families of TFs (out of >80 known families of TFs) have gained widespread attention on account of their significant role in drought tolerance in plants, TFs and regulons belonging to these five multi-gene families (AP2/EREBP, bZIP, MYB/MYC, NAC and WRKY) have been described and their role in improving drought tolerance discussed in this brief review. These TFs often undergo reversible phosphorylation to perform their function, and are also involved in complex networks. Therefore, some details about reversible phosphorylation of TFs by different protein kinases/phosphatases and the co-regulatory networks, which involve either only TFs or TFs with miRNAs, have also been discussed. Literature on transgenics involving genes encoding TFs and that on QTLs and markers associated with TF genes involved in drought tolerance has also been reviewed. Throughout the review, there is a major emphasis on wheat as an important crop, although examples from the model cereal rice (sometimes maize also), and the model plant Arabidopsis have also been used. This knowledge base may eventually allow the use of TF genes for development of drought tolerant cultivars, particularly in wheat.