Wei-Hua Wu, Ph.D., Professor
Tel: 86-10-62731103(O); 86-10-62731322(L)
Research Area: Molecular Mechanism of Plant Responses to Nutrient Deficiency (Low Potassium / Phosphorus) and Abiotic Stress (Salt / Drought)
Research of Special Interest

Nutrient deficiency and abiotic stresses are the main factors that affect plant growth and development in natural environment, and limit the yield and quality of crop production. It remains unclear that how plants sense and respond to these environmental stresses. The focus of our lab is to investigate the molecular mechanism of plant responses to nutrient deficiency (low potassium / phosphorus) and abiotic stresses (salt / drought). By application of genetic, biochemical and molecular approaches, we have identified some crucial genes that play roles in plant responses to these stresses. For examples, some protein kinases participate in these responses by regulating ion channel activities, and some transcription factors modulate the transcripts of ion transporter genes in order to enhance the plant tolerance to these stresses. Through the transcriptional and posttranslational regulation, plants eventually produce a series of adaptive events in both physiological and morphological alterations that help them to survive under these environmental stresses.

Publications      *Correspondence Author

1.      Ye Q, Wang H, Su T, Wu W-H, Chen YF* (2018) The ubiquitin E3 ligase PRU1 regulates WRKY6 degradation to modulate phosphate homeostasis in response to low-Pi stress in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 30:1062-1076.

2.      Gao Y-Q, Wu W-H, Wang Y* (2017) The K+ channel KZM2 is involved in stomatal movement by modulating inward K+ currents in maize guard cells. Plant J. 92:662-675.

3.      Wang Y, Wu W-H* (2017) Regulation of potassium transport and signaling in plants. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 39:123-128.

4.      Li H, Yu M, Du X-Q, Wang Z-F, Wu W-H, Quintero FJ, Jin X-H, Li H-D, Wang Y* (2017) NRT1.5/NPF7.3 functions as a proton-coupled H+/K+ antiporter for K+ loading into the xylem in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 29:2016-2026.

5.      Li J, Wu W-H, Wang Y* (2017) Potassium channel AKT1 is involved in the auxin-mediated root growth inhibition in Arabidopsis response to low K+ stress. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 59:895-909.

6.      Behera S, Long Y, Schmitz-Thom I, Wang X-P, Zhang C, Li H, Steinhorst L, Manishankar P, Ren X-L, Offenborn JN, Wu W-H, Kudla J*, Wang Y* (2017) Two spatially and temporally distinct Ca2+ signals convey Arabidopsis thaliana responses to K+ deficiency. New Phytol. 213:739-750.

7.      Huang Y, Sun MM, Ye Q, Wu XQ, Wu W-H, Chen YF* (2017) Abscisic acid modulates seed germination via ABA INSENSITIVE5-mediated PHOSPHATE1. Plant Pysiol. 175:1661-1668.

8.      Huang Y, Feng CZ, Ye Q, Wu W-H, Chen YF* (2016) Arabidopsis WRKY6 transcription factor acts as a positive regulator of abscisic acid signaling during seed germination and early seedling development. PLoS Genet. 12: e1005833.

9.      Wang XP, Chen LM, Liu WX, Shen LK, Wang FL, Zhou Y, Zhang Z, Wu W-H, Wang Y* (2016) AtKC1 and CIPK23 synergistically modulate AKT1-mediated low potassium stress responses in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 170:2264-2277. 

10.    Han M, Wu W, Wu W-H, Wang Y* (2016) Potassium transporter KUP7 is involved in K+ acquisition and translocation in Arabidopsis root under K+-limited conditions. Mol Plant. 9:437-446.

11.    Wang Y, Wu W-H* (2015) Genetic approaches for improvement of the crop potassium acquisition and utilization efficiency. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 25:46-52.

12.    Zou J-J, Li X-D, Ratnasekera D, Wang C, Liu W-X, Song L-F, Zhang W-Z, Wu W-H*(2015) Arabidopsis CALCIUM-DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASE8 and CATALASE3 function in abscisicacid-mediated signaling and H2O2homeostasis in stomatal guard cells under drought stress. Plant Cell. 27:1445-1460.

13.    Su T, Xu Q, Zhang F-C, Chen Y, Li L-Q, Wu W-H, Chen Y-F* (2015) WRKY42 modulates phosphate homeostasis through regulating phosphate translocation and acquisition in Arabidopsis. Plant Phsyiol. 167:1579-1591.

14.    Li J, Long Y, Qi G-N, Li J, Xu Z-J, Wu W-H, Wang Y* (2014) The Os-AKT1 channel is critical for K+ uptake in rice roots and is modulated by the rice CBL1-CIPK23 complex. Plant Cell. 26:3387-3402.

15.    Feng C-Z, Chen Y, Wang C, Kong Y-H, Wu W-H, Chen Y-F* (2014) Arabidopsis RAV1 transcription factor, phosphorylated by SnRK2 kinases, regulates the expression of ABI3ABI4, and ABI5 during seed germination and early seedling development. Plant J. 80:654-668.

16.    Wang H, Xu Q, Kong Y-H, Chen Y, Duan J-Y, Wu W-H, Chen Y-F* (2014) Arabidopsis WRKY45 transcription factor activates PHOSPHATE TRANSPORTER1;1 expression in response to phosphate starvation. Plant Physiol. 164:2020-2029.

17.    Liu W-X, Zhang F-C, Zhang W-Z, Song L-F, Wu W-H, Chen Y-F* (2013) Arabidopsis Di19 functions as a transcription factor and modulates PR1PR2, and PR5 expression in response to drought stress. Mol. Plant. 6:1487-1502.

18.    Wang Y and Wu W-H* (2013) Potassium transport and signaling in higher plants. Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. 64:451-476.

19.    Liu L-L, Ren H-M, Chen L-Q, Wang Y and Wu W-H* (2013) A protein kinase, CIPK9, interacts with calcium sensor CBL3 and regulates K+ homeostasis under low-K+ stress in ArabidopsisPlant Physiol. 161:266-277.

20.    Ren X-L, Qi G-N, Feng H-Q, Zhao S, Zhao S-S, Wang Y and Wu W-H* (2013) Calcineurin B-like protein CBL10 directly interacts with AKT1 and modulates K+ homeostasis in ArabidopsisPlant J. 74:258-266.

21.    Zhao L-N, Shen L-K, Zhang W-Z, Zhang W, Wang Y and Wu W-H* (2013) Ca2+-dependent protein kinase11 and 24 modulate the activity of the inward rectifying K+ channels in Arabidopsis pollen tubes. Plant Cell. 25:649-661.

22.    Zou J-J, Wei F-J, Wang C, Wu J-J, Ratnasekera D, Liu W-X and Wu W-H* (2010) Arabidopsis calcium-dependent protein kinase CPK10 functions in abscisic acid- and Ca2+-mediated stomatal regulation in response to drought stress. Plant Physiol. 154:1232-1243.

23.    Wang Y, He L, Li H-D, Xu J and Wu W-H* (2010) Potassium channel a-subunit AtKC1 negatively regulates AKT1-mediated K+ uptake in Arabidopsis roots under low-K+ stress. Cell Res. 20:826-837.

24.    Wang Y and Wu W-H* (2010) Plant sensing and signaling in response to K+-deficiency. Mol. Plant3:280-287.

25.    Chen Y-F, Li L-Q, Xu Q, Kong Y-H, Wang H and Wu W-H* (2009) The WRKY6 transcription factor modulates PHOSPHATE1 expression in response to low Pi stress in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 21:3554-3566.

26.    Zou J-J, Song L-F, Zhang W-Z, Wang Yi, Ruan S-L and Wu W-H* (2009) Comparative proteomic analysis of Arabidopsis mature pollen and germinated pollen. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51:438-455.

27.    Wang Y, Zhang W-Z, Song L-F, Zou J-J, Su Z and Wu W-H* (2008) Transcriptome analyses show changes in gene expression to accompany pollen germination and tube growth in ArabidopsisPlant Physiol. 148:1201-1211.

28.    Chen Y-F, Wang Y and Wu W-H* (2008) Membrane transporters for nitrogen, phosphate and potassium uptake in plants. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 50:835-848.

29.    Ma S-Y and Wu W-H* (2007) AtCPK23 functions in Arabidopsis responses to drought and salt stresses. Plant Mol. Biol. 65:511-518.

30.    Zhang W, Fan L-M and Wu W-H* (2007) Osmo-sensitive and stretch-activated calcium-permeable channels in Vicia faba guard cells are regulated by actin dynamics. Plant Physiol. 143:1140-1151.

31.    Wang X-Y, Chen Y-F, Zou J-J and Wu W-H* (2007) Involvement of a cytoplasmic glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase GapC-2 in Arabidopsis responses to low-phosphorous stress. Chinese Sci Bull. 52:1764-1770.

32.    Xu J, Li H-D, Chen L-Q, Wang Y, Liu L-L, He L and Wu W-H* (2006) A protein kinase, interacting with two calcineurin B-like proteins, regulates K+ transporter AKT1 in ArabidopsisCell.125:1347-1360.

33.    Jiang J, Fan L-W and Wu W-H* (2005) Evidences for involvement of endogenous cAMP in Arabidopsis defense responses to Verticillium toxins. Cell Res. 15:585-592.

34.    Wang Y-F, Fan L-M and Wu W-H* (2004) Ca2+-permeable channels in the plasma membrane of Arabidopsis pollen are regulated by actin microfilaments. Plant Physiol. 136:3892-3904.

35.    Fan L-M, Wang Y-F and Wu W-H* (2003) Outward K+ channels in Brassica chinensis pollen protoplasts are regulated by external and internal pH. Protoplasma. 220:143-152.

36.    Fan L-M, Wang Y-F, Wang H and Wu W-H* (2001) In vitro Arabidopsis pollen germination and characterization of the inward potassium currents in Arabidopsis pollen grain protoplasts. J. Exp. Bot. 52:1603-1614.

37.    Zhao S-Q, Lin C, Yang X-H and Wu W-H* (2001) Isolation and genetic analysis of Arabidopsis mutants with low-K+ tolerance. Acta Bot. Sinica. 43:105-107.

38.    Fan L-M and Wu W-H* (2000) External pH regulates the inward K+ channels in Brassica pollen protoplasts. Prog. Nat. Sci. 10:68-73.

39.    Jin X-C and Wu W-H* (1999) Involvement of cyclic AMP in ABA- and Ca2+-mediated signal transduction of stomatal regulation in Vicia fabaPlant Cell Physiol. 40:1127-1133.

40.    Fan L-M and Wu W-H* (1999) Identification and characterization of the inward K+ channel in the plasma membrane of Brassica pollen protoplasts. Plant Cell Physiol. 40:859-865.

41.    Liu P-R and Wu W-H* (1999) Physiological mechanisms of growth-inhibition by concentrated potassium in DunaliellasalinaActa Bot. Sinica. 41:617-623.

42.    Yu C-J and Wu W-H* (1999) Identification and characterization of inward K+-channels in plamsma membrane of Arabidopsis root cortex cells. Sci. in China. 42:307-315.

43.    Zhou X-M and Wu W-H* (1999) Regulation of the inward K+ channels in stomatal guard cells by cytoskeletal microtubules. Chinese Sci Bull. 44:919-922.

44.    Wang X-Q, Wu W-H* and Assmann S (1998) Differential responses of abaxial and adaxial guard cells of broad bean to abscisic acid and calcium. Plant Physiol. 118:1421-1429.

45.    Wang X-Q, Wu W-H* and Zhang J-S (1998) Evidences for regulation of the inward K+ channels by CDPK in Vicia faba guard cells. Acta Bot. Sinica. 40:1001-1009.

46.    Wu W-H and Assmann S* (1995) Is ATP required for K+ channel activation in Vicia guard cells? Plant Physiol. 107:101-109.

47.    Wu W-H* (1995) A novel cation channel in Vicia faba guard cell plasma membrane. Acta Phytophysiologica Sinica. 21:347-354.

48.    Assmann S* and Wu W-H (1994) Inhibition of guard cell inward K+ channels by abscisic acid: Links and gaps in the signal transduction chain. In: Blatt MR, Leigh RA, & Sanders D eds., Membrane Transport in Plant and Fungi: Molecular Mechanisms and Control. The Company of Biologists Limited, Cambridge, England, pp193-202.

49.    Schwartz A, Wu W-H, Tucker E and Assmann S* (1994) Inhibition of ineard K+ channels and stomatal response by abscisic acid: An intracellular locus of phytohormone action. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 91:4019-4023.

50.    Wu W-H and Assmann S* (1994) A membrane-delimited pathway of G-protein regulation of the guard-cell inward K+ channel. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 91:6310-6314.

51.    Wu W-H and Assmann S* (1993) Photosynthesis by guard cell chloroplasts of Vicia faba L.: Effects of factors associated with stomatal movement. Plant Physiol. 34:1015-1022.

52.    Berkowitz G* and Wu W-H (1993) Magnesium, potassium flux and photosynthesis. Magnesium Res. 6:257-265.

53.    Wu W-H and Berkowitz G* (1992) K+ stimulation of ATPase activity associated with the chloroplast inner envelope. Plant Physiol. 99:553-560.

54.    Wu W-H and Berkowitz G* (1992) Stromal pH and photosynthesis are affected by electro neutral K+ and H+ exchange through chloroplast envelope ion channels. Plant Physiol. 98:666-672.

55.    Wu W-H and Berkowitz G* (1991) Lidocaine and ATPase inhibitor interaction with the chloroplast envelope. Plant Physiol. 97:1551-1557.

56.    Wu W-H, Peters J and Berkowitz G* (1991) Surface charge-mediated effects of Mg2+ on K+ flux across the chloroplast envelope are associated with regulation of stromal pH and photosynthesis. Plant Physiol. 97:580-587.