Pea lectin receptor-like kinase functions in salinity adaptation without yield penalty, by alleviating osmotic and ionic stresses and upregulating stress-responsive genes
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- Vaid, N., Pandey, P., Srivastava, V.K. et al. Plant Mol Biol (2015) 88: 193. doi:10.1007/s11103-015-0319-9
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Lectin receptor-like kinases (LecRLKs) are members of RLK family composed of lectin-like extracellular recognition domain, transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic kinase domain. LecRLKs are plasma membrane proteins believed to be involved in signal transduction. However, most of the members of the protein family even in plants have not been functionally well characterized. Herein, we show that Pisum sativum LecRLK (PsLecRLK) localized in plasma membrane systems and/or other regions of the cell and its transcript upregulated under salinity stress. Overexpression of PsLecRLK in transgenic tobacco plants confers salinity stress tolerance by alleviating both the ionic as well the osmotic component of salinity stress. The transgenic plants show better tissue compartmentalization of Na+ and higher ROS scavenging activity which probably results in lower membrane damage, improved growth and yield maintenance even under salinity stress. Also, expression of several genes involved in cellular homeostasis is perturbed by PsLecRLK overexpression. Alleviation of osmotic and ionic components of salinity stress along with reduced oxidative damage and upregulation of stress-responsive genes in transgenic plants under salinity stress conditions could be possible mechanism facilitating enhanced stress tolerance. This study presents PsLecRLK as a promising candidate for crop improvement and also opens up new avenue to investigate its signalling pathway.