Altered Expression of PERK Receptor Kinases inArabidopsisLeads to Changes in Growth and Floral Organ Formation
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The proline-rich, extensin-like receptor kinase (PERK) family is characterized by a putative extracellular domain related to cell wall proteins, followed by a transmembrane domain and kinase domain. The original member, PERK1, was isolated from Brassica napus (BnPERK1) and 15 PERK1-related members were subsequently identified in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. Ectopic expression and antisense suppression studies were performed using the BnPERK1 cDNA under the control of the 35S CaMV constitutive promoter and introduced into Arabidopsis. In the case of antisense suppression, the BnPERK1 cDNA shared sufficient sequence similarity to suppress several members of the At PERK family. In both sets of transgenic Arabidopsis, several heritable changes in growth and development were observed. Antisense BnPERK1 transgenic Arabidopsis showed various growth defects including loss of apical dominance, increased secondary branching, and floral organ defects. In contrast, Arabidopsis plants ectopically expressing BnPERK1 displayed a prolonged lifespan with increased lateral shoot production and seed set. Along with these phenotypic changes, aberrant deposits of callose and cellulose were also observed, suggestive of cell wall changes as a consequence of altered PERK expression.
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