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The somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase TaSERK1 participates in the immune response to Rhizoctonia cerealis infection by interacting and phosphorylating the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase TaRLCK1B in wheat

Haijun Qi , Jinfeng Yu, Xili Yuan, Wenbiao Shen*, Zengyan Zhang*

International Journal of Biological Macromolecules,2023,IF:8.02



The sharp eyespot, caused by necrotrophic pathogen Rhizoctonia cerealis, often causes serious yield loss in wheat (Triticum aestivum). However, the mechanisms underlying wheat resistant responses to the pathogen are still limited. In this study, we performed a genome-wide analysis of somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase (SERK) family in wheat. As a result, a total of 26 TaSERK candidate genes were identified from the wheat genome. Only 6 TaSERK genes on the chromosomes 2A, 2B, 2D, 3A, 3B, and 3D showed obvious heightening expression patterns in resistant wheat infected with R. cerealis compared than those un-infected wheat. Of them, the transcripts of 3 TaSERK1 homoeologs on the chromosomes 2A, 2B, and 2D were significantly up-regulated in the highest level compared to other TaSERKs. Importantly, silencing of TaSERK1 significantly impaired wheat resistance to sharp eyespot. Further bio-molecular assays showed that TaSERK1 could interact with the defence-associated receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase TaRLCK1B, and phosphorylated TaRLCK1B. Together, the results suggest that TaSERK1 mediated resistance responses to R. cerealis infection by interacting and phosphorylating TaRLCK1B in wheat. This study sheds light on the understanding of the wheat SERKs in the innate immunity against R. cerealis, and provided a theoretical fulcrum to identify candidate resistant genes for improving wheat resistance against sharp eyespot in wheat. © 2022 Elsevier B.V.