Characterization of three somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase genes from wheat, Triticum aestivum

Plant Cell Rep. 2008 May;27(5):833-43. doi: 10.1007/s00299-008-0505-1. Epub 2008 Jan 22.


We report here the isolation and characterization of three SOMATIC EMBRYOGENESIS RECEPTOR KINASE (TaSERK) genes from wheat. TaSERKs belong to a small family of receptor-like kinase genes, share a conserved structure and extensive sequence homology with previously reported plant SERK genes. TaSERK genes are in general auxin inducible and expressed during embryogenesis in cell cultures. We show here that somatic embryogenesis in Triticum aestivum is associated with high SERK expression which could be enhanced with auxin application and is calcium dependent. TaSERK transcripts could also be enhanced by epibrassinolide and abscisic acid. TaSERK1 and TaSERK2 may have a role in somatic embryogenesis, whereas TaSERK3 appears to be a brassinosteroid-associated kinase (BAK) lacking an SPP motif but shares a characteristic C-terminal domain with other SERK proteins. Also, the transcripts of all the three TaSERK genes could be induced in zygotic and somatic tissues. Although our analysis suggests them to be involved in somatic embryogenesis, they may have a broader role in acquiring embryogenic competence in wheat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Indoleacetic Acids / pharmacology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Triticum / embryology
  • Triticum / enzymology*
  • Triticum / genetics


  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • Calcium