Receptor signaling systems regulating cell separation and immunity in Arabidopsis
Plants use small peptide ligands and plasma-membrane receptor proteins to regulate important developmental processes and to respond to both biotic and abiotic stresses. The peptide ligand INFLORESCENCE DEFICIENT IN ABSCISSION (IDA) is known to regulate floral organ abscission (shedding) and lateral root emergence in Arabidopsis through the receptor-like kinases (RLK) HAESA (HAE) and HAESA-LIKE 2 (HSL2). Components of the IDA signaling pathway are found to regulate the expression of defense genes , in addition to be involved during pseudomonas and drought induced cauline leaf abscission [2, 3]. We are currently exploring the role of IDA in regulating plant immunity in cells undergoing cell separation and exploring genes and proteins that are important in the IDA signaling pathway.
The Master student will be involved in two different projects that aim (1) to understand how IDA is regulated and how the regulation is influenced by biotic and abiotic stress and (2) to identify signalling components of the IDA signalling pathway. For the first part of the project, we have performed a Y1H screen with the IDA promoter. From this screen we have identified putative transcription factors that regulate IDA expression. The Master student will be involved in characterising the function of these transcription factors. For the second part of the project we have identified proteins that are differentially phosphorylated in ida mutant plants compared to wild-type plants. These proteins are likely to be direct or indirect targets of IDA HAE/HSL2 signaling. The Master student will be involved in performing functional studies for these candidate proteins and studying how they are involved in the IDA mediated regulation of cell separation and defence.
Techniques and supervision:
During the Master degree the student will be supervised by Associate Professor Melinka Butenko and Postdoc Sergio Galindo Trigo. The student will be trained in basic molecular techniques, including plant molecular techniques and generation of transgenic Arabidopsis lines (using among other CRISPR). The student will also use confocal and light microscopy and be trained in the use of fluorescent interaction techniques such as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). Genetic interaction studies will also be performed.
1 Stenvik et al. Plant Cell, 2008
2 Patharkar et al. Plant Physiology, 2016,
3 Patharkar et al. PLOS Pathogens, 2017