Structural characterization and expression analysis of the SERK/SERL gene family in rice (Oryza sativa)

Int J Plant Genomics. 2009:2009:539402. doi: 10.1155/2009/539402. Epub 2009 Sep 13.


Somatic embryogenesis (SE) is the developmental restructuring of somatic cells towards the embryogenic pathway and forms the basis of cellular totipotency in angiosperms. With the availability of full-length cDNA sequences from Knowledge-based Oryza Molecular Biological Encylopedia (KOME), we identified the leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (LRR-RLK) genes from rice (Oryza sativa), which also encompasses genes involved in regulating somatic embryogenesis. Eight out of eleven of the rice SERK and SERL (SERK-like) genes have the TIGR annotation as (putative) brassinosteroid insensitive 1-associated receptor kinase (precursor). Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis was undertaken to quantify transcript levels of these 11 genes. Most of these genes were upregulated by brassinosteroids although only a few of these displayed auxin induction. The expression profile of these genes is nearly uniform in the zygotic embryogenic tissue, but the expression pattern is more complex in the somatic embryogenic tissue. It is likely that OsSERKs and OsSERLs may be involved in somatic embryogenesis and also perform a role in morphogenesis and various other plant developmental processes. Functional validation of these somatic embryogenesis receptor-like kinase genes may help in elucidating their precise functions in regulating various facets of plant development.