Defects in brassinosteroid (BR) biosynthetic or signaling genes result in dwarfed plants, whereas overexpression of these genes increases overall stature. An Arabidopsis elongated-D (elg-D) mutant shares phenotypic similarities with BR overexpression lines, suggesting its implication in BR pathways. Here, we determine how elg-D affects BR signaling. Since elg-D rescued dwarfism in bri1-5 plants, a BR receptor mutant, but not in BR-insensitive bin2/dwf12-1D plants, elg-D appears to act between bri1-5 and bin2/dwf12-1D in BR signaling. We found that elg-D had an increased response to epi-brassinolide (epi-BL); that the BES1 transcription factor was shifted toward the dephosphorylated form in elg-D; that the expression of a BR responsive gene, SAUR-AC1, was upregulated in elg-D; and that transcription of BR biosynthetic genes, DWF4 and CPD, was downregulated by feedback inhibition. Thus, endogenous levels of CS and BL as well as biosynthetic intermediates were reduced by the elg-D mutation, whereas basal levels of BR signaling were elevated. Map-based cloning and sequencing revealed that elg-D is allelic to the BR co-receptor protein, BAK1, and has an Asp122 to Asn substitution in the third repeat of the extracellular leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain. In agreement with the finding that BAK1/ELG is involved in the perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), the bak1/elg-D plants exhibited increased Pseudomonas syringae growth. Therefore, bak1/elg-D promotes Arabidopsis growth by stimulating BR signaling at the expense of its readiness to respond to biotic stress factors. The BAK1/ELG BR co-receptor thus plays an important role in BR signaling that is mediated by its LRR domain.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 8, 2012
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