Molecular studies of plant receptors

Plants are sedentary and, therefore, need means to measure environmental conditions and respond to threats or stressful change. Our understanding of how plants recognize and respond to stress (e.g., through membrane bound receptors) has advanced considerably in recent years. However, much less is known about how these signaling pathways are integrated within the plant to effect needed changes in physiology, growth and development.

Our laboratory has been instrumental in the discovery and characterization of two plant receptors involved in plant stress recognition. Discoveries in our laboratory identified the major chitin receptor in plants (CERK1), as well as various co-receptors. As discussed under another research heading, our laboratory also was the first to identify the receptor for extracellular ATP. However, these are just a few of the total number of receptors known and that remain uncharacterized. Hence, there is a great need for methods to identify and characterize other receptors and their associated ligands to add to our understanding of how plants respond to their environment.

We are developing methods by which we hope to identify a variety of novel receptor-ligand interactions. Watch the associated video that gives recent progress. Along the way, with our collaborators, we have developed a novel super-resolution microscope that will aid us in characterizing these receptors and how they localized in the membrane.

Some relevant publications on this research topic from the laboratory:

Cao, Yangrong, Yan Liang, Kiwamu Tanaka, Cuong T. Nguyen, Robert P. Jedrzejczak, Andrzej Joachimiak, Gary Stacey (2014) The kinase LYK5 is a major chitin receptor in Arabidopsis and forms a chitin-induced complex with related kinase CERK1. eLife 2014;3:e03766

Liang, Yan, KatalinTóth, Yangrong Cao, Kiwamu Tanaka, Catherine Espinoza and Gary Stacey (2014) Lipochitooligosaccharide recognition: an ancient story. New Phytol. 204(2):289-96

Wan, Jinrong, Xuecheng Zhang, Katrina M. Ramonell, Steve Clough, Sung-yong Kim, Minviluz Stacey, and Gary Stacey (2008) A LysM receptor-like kinase mediates chitin perception and fungal resistance in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 20: 471-481.

Wan, Jinrong, Xue-Cheng Zhang, Kiwamu Tanaka, Geon-hui Son, Laurent Brechenmacher, Tran Hong Nha Nguyen, Gary Stacey. (2012) The LysM receptor-like kinase AtLysM RLK4 is important for chitin signaling and plant innate immunity in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 160: 396-406.

Choi, Jeongmin, Tanaka, Kiwamu, Cao, Yangrong, Xi, Yue, Qiu, Jing, Liang, Yan, Sang Yeol Lee, Stacey, Gary (2014) Identification of a plant receptor for extracellular ATP. Science Vol. 343 no. 6168 pp. 290-294.

An Quoc Pham, Sung-Hwan Cho, Cuong The Nguyen, and Gary Stacey. 2020. P2K2 is a second plant receptor for extracellular ATP and contributes to innate immunity. Plant Physiol. Apr 2020, pp.01265.2019