The shooty callus induced by suppression of tobacco CHRK1 receptor-like kinase is a phenocopy of the tobacco genetic tumor
CHRK1 encodes a tobacco receptor-like kinase that contains a chitinase-like sequence in the extracellular domain. In a previous study, CHRK1-suppressed transgenic tobacco plants exhibited pleiotropic developmental abnormalities including spontaneous growth of shooty callus from emerging embryos in the absence of any exogenous hormones. In this study, we show that the CHRK1 shooty callus mimics tobacco genetic tumors in its morphology, physiology, and gene expression profiles. Similar to CHRK1 shooty callus, tobacco genetic tumors exhibit shooty callus morphology and hormone-independent shoot organogenesis. Both the CHRK1 callus and genetic tumors constitutively expressed KNOTTED1-type homeobox genes at the high levels, consistent with their vigorous shoot formation. These two types of calli exhibited cell death phenotypes, accompanied by high H2O2 production, increased ion leakage, and callose accumulation. Consistently, both types of calli constitutively expressed high levels of defense genes induced during pathogen-mediated HR cell death. These results, together with previous reports that both the CHRK1 shooty callus and tobacco genetic tumor contained high levels of cytokinin, indicate that CHRK1 shooty callus is a phenocopy of tobacco genetic tumor. CHRK1-mediated signal transduction may play a role in the formation of the genetic tumor in tobacco.
KeywordsCell death Cytokinin Defense-related genes Homeobox genes Shoot proliferation
The authors wish to thank Dr. Myeong-Hyeon Wang (Kang-Won University, Korea) for providing tobacco genetic tumor lines. This research was supported by a grant from Plant Diversity Research Center of 21st Century Frontier Research Program funded by Ministry of Science and Technology of Korean government.
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