Knights in Action: Lectin Receptor-Like Kinases in Plant Development and Stress Responses

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Abstract

The Receptor-Like Kinase (RLK) is a vast protein family with over 600 genes in Arabidopsis and 1100 in rice. The Lectin RLK (LecRLK) family is believed to play crucial roles in saccharide signaling as well as stress perception. All the LecRLKs possess three domains: an N-terminal lectin domain, an intermediate transmembrane domain, and a C-terminal kinase domain. On the basis of lectin domain variability, LecRLKs have been subgrouped into three subclasses: L-, G-, and C-type LecRLKs. While the previous studies on LecRLKs were dedicated to classification, comparative structural analysis and expression analysis by promoter-based studies, most of the recent studies on LecRLKs have laid special emphasis on the potential of this gene family in regulating biotic/abiotic stress and developmental pathways in plants, thus making the prospects of studying the LecRLK-mediated regulatory mechanism exceptionally promising. In this review, we have described in detail the LecRLK gene family with respect to a historical, evolutionary, and structural point of view. Furthermore, we have laid emphasis on the LecRLKs roles in development, stress conditions, and hormonal response. We have also discussed the exciting research prospects offered by the current knowledge on the LecRLK gene family. The multitude of the LecRLK gene family members and their functional diversity mark these genes as both interesting and worthy candidates for further analysis, especially in the field of crop improvement.

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