SCRAMBLED (SCM), a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), is required for positional signaling in the root epidermis and for tissue/organ development in the shoot. To further understand SCM action, we generated a series of kinase domain variants and analyzed their ability to complement scm mutant defects. We found that the SCM kinase domain, but not kinase activity, is required for its role in root epidermal patterning, supporting the view that SCM is an atypical receptor kinase. We also describe a previously uncharacterized role for SCM in fruit dehiscence, because mature siliques from scm mutants fail to open properly. Interestingly, the kinase domain of SCM appears to be dispensable for this developmental process. Furthermore, we found that most of the SCM kinase domain mutations dramatically inhibit inflorescence development. Because this process is not affected in scm null mutants, it is likely that SCM acts redundantly to regulate inflorescence size. The importance of distinct kinase residues for these three developmental processes provides an explanation for the maintenance of the conserved kinase domain in the SCM protein, and it may generally explain its conservation in other atypical kinases. Furthermore, these results indicate that individual leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases may participate in multiple pathways using distinct signaling mechanisms to mediate diverse cellular communication events.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science