Somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase (SERK) proteins play pivotal roles in regulation of plant development and immunity. The rice genome contains two SERK genes, OsSerk1 and OsSerk2. We previously demonstrated that OsSerk2 is required for rice Xa21-mediated resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) and for normal development. Here we report the molecular characterization of OsSerk1. Overexpression of OsSerk1 results in a semi-dwarf phenotype whereas silencing of OsSerk1 results in a reduced angle of the lamina joint. OsSerk1 is not required for rice resistance to Xoo or Magnaporthe oryzae. Overexpression of OsSerk1 in OsSerk2-silenced lines complements phenotypes associated with brassinosteroid (BR) signaling defects, but not the disease resistance phenotype mediated by Xa21. In yeast, OsSERK1 interacts with itself forming homodimers, and also interacts with the kinase domains of OsSERK2 and BRI1, respectively. OsSERK1 is a functional protein kinase capable of auto-phosphorylation in vitro. We conclude that, whereas OsSERK2 regulates both rice development and immunity, OsSERK1 functions in rice development but not immunity to Xoo and M. oryzae.
Keywords: Magnaporthe oryzae; Oryza sativa; OsSERK1; Xanthomonas oryzae pv. Oryzae; somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase.
© 2014 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.