Multi-tasking of SERK-like kinases in plant embryogenesis, growth, and development: current advances and biotechnological applications

  • Vijay Kumar
  • Johannes Van StadenEmail author


In plants, exogenous signals play a vital role in cell metabolism modification leading to growth and defense responses. The SOMATIC EMBRYOGENESIS RECEPTOR-LIKE KINASE (SERK) belongs to a family of leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs), involved in cell-to-embryo-transition, plant environmental responses, and plant development. SERKs interact with various ligand-binding receptors with complex-signaling networks and appear to function in diverse biological processes in plant development and physiology. The present review explores the current status of the role of SERK genes as candidate marker during plant embryogenesis. Furthermore, we describe recent advances in newly identified SERK functions and provide novel insights into different biotechnological advances. The recent advancements in newly identified SERK will help to unlock the long-standing mysteries of different biological and molecular mechanisms of plant cells.


Biotechnological applications Biological mechanism Embryogenesis Plant growth SERK 



Abscisic acid






Botrytis-induced kinase 1




Brassinosteroid insensitive1


Bimolecular fluorescence complementation


Clavata3/endosperm surrounding region


Cold shock protein




Cyclic nucleotide-gated channel17


2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid




Ethylene response factor1


Erecta like1


Epidermal patterning factor1


Excess micro-sporocytes1


Flagellin sensing2


Forster resonance energy transfer




Inflorescence deficient in abscission


Immature zygotic embryos


Internodal segment


Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases


Naphthalene-acetic acid


Open stomata1


Pathogen-associated molecular patterns


Protocorm-like body


Pathogenesis-related protein1


Phytoalexin deficient4


Protein phosphatase 2A


Pattern recognition receptors


Plant U-box


Root meristem growth factor


Resident receptor-like kinases


Resident receptor-like Proteins


Reactive oxygen species


Shoot apical meristem


Somatic embryogenesis


Somatic embryogenesis receptor-like kinase


Twisted dwarf 1


Tapetum determinant1


Too many mouth


Virus-induced gene silencing



VK wish to acknowledge the Claude Leon Foundation and University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Life SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal PietermaritzburgScottsvilleSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Lovely Faculty of Technology and SciencesLovely Professional UniversityPhagwaraIndia

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