Molecular dissection of the response of a rice leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (LRR-RLK) gene to abiotic stresses

SeoJung Park, Jun-Cheol Moon, Yong Chan Park, Ju-Hee Kim, Dong Sub Kim, Cheol Seong Jang
Journal of Plant Physiology 2014 November 1, 171 (17): 1645-53
Leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptor-like kinase (RLK) proteins play key roles in a variety of biological pathways. In a previous study, we analyzed the members of the rice LRR-RLK gene family using in silico analysis. A total of 23 LRR-RLK genes were selected based on the expression patterns of a genome-wide dataset of microarrays. The Oryza sativa gamma-ray induced LRR-RLK1 (OsGIRL1) gene was highly induced by gamma irradiation. Therefore, we studied its expression pattern in response to various different abiotic and phytohormone treatments. OsGIRL1 was induced on exposure to abiotic stresses such as salt, osmotic, and heat, salicylic acid (SA), and abscisic acid (ABA), but exhibited downregulation in response to jasmonic acid (JA) treatment. The OsGIRL1 protein was clearly localized at the plasma membrane. The truncated proteins harboring juxtamembrane and kinase domains (or only harboring a kinase domain) exhibited strong autophosphorylation. The biological function of OsGIRL1 was investigated via heterologous overexpression of this gene in Arabidopsis plants subjected to gamma-ray irradiation, salt stress, osmotic stress, and heat stress. A hypersensitive response was observed in response to salt stress and heat stress, whereas a hyposensitive response was observed in response to gamma-ray treatment and osmotic stress. These results provide critical insights into the molecular functions of the rice LRR-RLK genes as receptors of external signals.

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