Interaction between Medicago spp. and Sinorhizobium meliloti leads to the development of a novel organ, the root nodule. A gene, Msapk1, encoding a novel type of plant protein kinase containing a N-terminal region with an ankyrin domain, was identified and shown to be expressed both in S. meliloti-infected and spontaneous nodules in alfalfa. This gene is not exclusively associated to nodulation since its expression was detected in other plant organs. Several genes coding for ankyrin protein kinases (APKs) were detected in various plants and animals. Three closest A. thaliana homologues of Msapk1 were identified in databases and two of them were shown to express differentially in various organs using gene-specific RT-PCR. In contrast, Southern analysis suggests that a single-copy gene exists in diploid M. truncatula. By screening a M. truncatula BAC library the Mtapk1 genomic region was isolated and sequenced. Two neighbouring genes showing homologies to previously identified sequences in data banks were detected in the vicinity of the Mtapk1 gene and compared to similar regions of the three Atapk genes. The distribution of exons/introns was the same for all expressed genes of both species although Mtapk1 contained larger introns. Upon osmotic stress Msapk1 expression was induced in roots of alfalfa starting from three hours up to two days of treatment. These data suggest that Msapk1, involved in alfalfa osmotic stress responses, belongs to a novel class of plant protein kinases.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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