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Title: Cell-cell communication in early developing seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana
Author: Gacek, Katarzyna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 7376
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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Sexual reproduction and the formation of seeds are key events in the life cycle of flowering plants. The development of the seed is achieved through the coordinated growth of its three components: embryo, endosperm and maternal integuments. Recent genetic studies have revealed that the tight co-ordination of the growth of the three tissues is mediated by cell-cell communication, most likely involving transmembrane receptors and secreted peptides that act as ligands. However, precisely which proteins are involved and how their activities are regulated remains poorly understood. The aim of my thesis is to investigate the putative roles of receptor like kinases (RLKs) in the coordination of growth during early seed development. Although there are 600 RLKs in the Arabidopsis genome, only a few of them have been assigned with a biological function. Mutation in one leucine-rich-repeat RLK (IKU2) gene confers a small seed phenotype. To decipher the role of IKU2 during seed development and reveal its interaction with other receptor kinases known to play a key role during plant reproduction and development, genetic analyses were performed with SERK1/SERK2, EMS1/EXS, ERECTA and the newly identified IKU2-LIKE. The results from these analyses, suggest that both IKU2 and ERECTA genetically interact to regulate seed size. Interestingly, this work has also revealed that an IKU2 homologue, named IKU2- LIKE (IKL), as well as EMS1 also genetically interact with IKU2 and play a role in seed development. To better understand the function of the IKU2 receptor kinase a biochemical analysis was conducted, which revealed that the kinase domain is strictly required for IKU2 function. Together these findings support a pivotal role for IKU2 and associated receptor like kinases, specifically ERECTA, in regulating the co-ordinated growth and development of the Arabidopsis seed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QK Botany ; QP Physiology