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Science 288 (5475): 2360-2363

Copyright © 2000 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Perception of Brassinosteroids by the Extracellular Domain of the Receptor Kinase BRI1

Zuhua He, 134 Zhi-Yong Wang, 1 Jianming Li, 1* Qun Zhu, 1dagger Chris Lamb, 1ddagger Pamela Ronald, 3 Joanne Chory 12§

An assay was developed to study plant receptor kinase activation and signaling mechanisms. The extracellular leucine-rich repeat (LRR) and transmembrane domains of the Arabidopsis receptor kinase BRI1, which is implicated in brassinosteroid signaling, were fused to the serine/threonine kinase domain of XA21, the rice disease resistance receptor. The chimeric receptor initiates plant defense responses in rice cells upon treatment with brassinosteroids. These results, which indicate that the extracellular domain of BRI1 perceives brassinosteroids, suggest a general signaling mechanism for the LRR receptor kinases of plants. This system should allow the discovery of ligands for the LRR kinases, the largest group of plant receptor kinases.

1 Plant Biology Laboratory,
2 The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
3 Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
4 Biotechnology Institute, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China.
*   Present address: Department of Biology, University of Michigan, MI 48190-1048, USA.

dagger    Present address: Dupont Company, Wilmington, DE 19880-0402, USA.

ddagger    Present address: John Innes Centre, Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK.

§   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: chory{at}

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