In plants, the cysteine-rich repeat kinases (CRKs) are a sub-family of receptor-like protein kinases that contain the DUF26 motif in their extracellular domains. It has been shown that in Arabidopsis thaliana, CRK20 is transcriptionally induced by pathogens, salicylic acid and ozone (O(3)). However, its role in responses to biotic and abiotic stress remains to be elucidated. To determine the function of CRK20 in such responses, two CRK20 loss-of-function mutants, crk20-1 and crk20-2, were isolated from public collections of Arabidopsis T-DNA tagged lines and examined for responses to O(3) and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000. crk20-1 and crk20-2 showed similar O(3) sensitivities and no differences in the expression of defense genes when compared with the wild-type. However, pathogen growth was significantly reduced, while there were no differences in the induction of salicylic acid related defense genes or salicylic acid accumulation. Furthermore, correlation analysis of CRK20 gene expression suggests that it has a role in the control of H(2)O and/or nutrient transport. We therefore propose that CRK20 promotes conditions that are favorable for Pst DC3000 growth in Arabidopsis, possibly through the regulation of apoplastic homeostasis, and consequently, of the environment of this biotrophic pathogen.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.