Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 235–242 | Cite as

The role of receptor-like protein kinases (RLKs) in abiotic stress response in plants

  • Yaoyao Ye
  • Yanfei Ding
  • Qiong Jiang
  • Feijuan Wang
  • Junwei Sun
  • Cheng ZhuEmail author


Key message

We review and introduce recent studies on RLK s involved in the abiotic stress response and provide insights into potential regulatory mechanisms for alleviating abiotic stress.


Abiotic stresses are important factors affecting plant growth and development, resulting in crop production reduction and even plant death. To survive, plants utilize different mechanisms to respond and adapt to continuously changing environmental factors. Understanding of the molecular mechanisms of plant response to various stresses will aid in improving tolerance of plants to abiotic stress through genetic engineering, which would greatly promote the development of modern agriculture. RLKs, the largest gene family in plants, play critical roles in the regulation of plant developmental processes, signaling networks and disease resistance. Many RLKs have been shown to be involved in abiotic stress responses, including the abscisic acid response, calcium signaling and antioxidant defense. This review summarizes recent studies on RLKs involved in plant responses to abiotic stress, including drought, salt, cold, toxic metals/metalloids and other stresses, and emphasizes the upstream and downstream factors in RLK signal transduction pathways under abiotic stress.


RLK Abiotic stress Drought stress Salt stress Cold stress Toxic metals/metalloids stresses 



This work was supported by Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31401299, 31470368), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LZ14C020001), and Zhejiang Province Natural Science Foundation Outstanding Youth Project (LR17C130001).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaoyao Ye
    • 1
  • Yanfei Ding
    • 1
  • Qiong Jiang
    • 1
  • Feijuan Wang
    • 1
  • Junwei Sun
    • 1
  • Cheng Zhu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Life SciencesChina Jiliang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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