Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 9, pp 867–877 | Cite as

RLKs orchestrate the signaling in plant male-female interaction

  • Hongju LiEmail author
  • Wei-Cai YangEmail author
Open Access


Different from animals, sessile plants are equipped with a large receptor-like kinase (RLK) superfamily. RLKs are a family of single trans-membrane proteins with divergent N-terminal extracellular domains capped by a signal peptide and C-terminal intracellular kinase. Researches in the last two decades have uncovered an increasing number of RLKs that regulate plant development, stress response and sexual reproduction, highlighting a dominant role of RLK signaling in cell-to-cell communications. Sexual reproduction in flowering plants is featured by interactions between the male gametophyte and the female tissues to facilitate sperm delivery and fertilization. Emerging evidences suggest that RLKs regulate almost every aspect of plant reproductive process, especially during pollination. Therefore, in this review we will focus mainly on the function and signaling of RLKs in plant male-female interaction and discuss the future prospects on these topics.


RLK signaling plant reproduction pollen tube female gametophyte male-female interaction pollen tube growth and guidance pollen tube reception 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Molecular Developmental Biology, Institute of Genetics and Developmental BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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