Background: Transmembrane receptor kinases play critical roles in both animal and plant signaling pathways regulating growth, development, differentiation, cell death, and pathogenic defense responses. In Arabidopsis thaliana, there are at least 223 Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs), representing one of the largest protein families. Although functional roles for a handful of LRR-RLKs have been revealed, the functions of the majority of members in this protein family have not been elucidated.
Results: As a resource for the in-depth analysis of this important protein family, the complementary DNA sequences (cDNAs) of 194 LRR-RLKs were cloned into the Gateway donor vector pDONR/Zeo and analyzed by DNA sequencing. Among them, 157 clones showed sequences identical to the predictions in the Arabidopsis sequence resource, TAIR8. The other 37 cDNAs showed gene structures distinct from the predictions of TAIR8, which was mainly caused by alternative splicing of pre-mRNA. Most of the genes have been further cloned into Gateway destination vectors with GFP or FLAG epitope tags and have been transformed into Arabidopsis for in planta functional analysis. All clones from this study have been submitted to the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (ABRC) at Ohio State University for full accessibility by the Arabidopsis research community.
Conclusions: Most of the Arabidopsis LRR-RLK genes have been isolated and the sequence analysis showed a number of alternatively spliced variants. The generated resources, including cDNA entry clones, expression constructs and transgenic plants, will facilitate further functional analysis of the members of this important gene family.