PERK–KIPK–KCBP signalling negatively regulates root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana

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The Arabidopsis proline-rich, extensin-like receptor-like kinases (PERKs) are a small group of receptor-like kinases that are thought to act as sensors at the cell wall through their predicted proline-rich extracellular domains. In this study, we focused on the characterization of a subclade of three Arabidopsis predicted PERK genes, PERK8, -9, and -10, for which no functions were known. Yeast two-hybrid interaction studies were conducted with the PERK8,- 9, and -10 cytosolic kinase domains, and two members of the Arabidopsis AGC VIII kinase family were identified as interacting proteins: AGC1-9 and the closely related kinesin-like calmodulin-binding protein (KCBP)-interacting protein kinase (KIPK). As KIPK has been identified previously as an interactor of KCBP, these interactions were also examined further and confirmed in this study. Finally, T-DNA mutants for each gene were screened for altered phenotypes under different conditions, and from these screens, a role for the PERK, KIPK, and KCBP genes in negatively regulating root growth was uncovered.

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