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Plant & cell physiology

A Receptor-Like Kinase, Related to Cell Wall Sensor of Higher Plants, is Required for Sexual Reproduction in the Unicellular Charophycean Alga, Closterium peracerosum-strigosum-littorale Complex.


PMID 25941232

Abstract

Here, we cloned the CpRLK1 gene, which encodes a receptor-like protein kinase expressed during sexual reproduction, from the heterothallic Closterium peracerosum-strigosum-littorale complex, one of the closest unicellular alga to land plants. Mating-type plus (mt(+)) cells with knockdown of CpRLK1 showed reduced competence for sexual reproduction and formed an abnormally enlarged conjugation papilla after pairing with mt(-) cells. The knockdown cells were unable to release a naked gamete, which is indispensable for zygote formation. We suggest that the CpRLK1 protein is an ancient cell wall sensor that now functions to regulate osmotic pressure in the cell to allow proper gamete release.