GDCB Seminar — “Deciphering the receptor kinase FERONIA: Functions and underlying mechanisms”

Friday, September 18, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Michelle Guo, GDCB adjunct assistant professor

Speaker: Hongqing (Michelle) Guo, GDCB adjunct assistant professor

Title: “Deciphering the receptor kinase FERONIA: Functions and underlying mechanisms”

Abstract: FERONIA (FER) receptor kinase plays a versatile role in plant growth and development, biotic and abiotic stress responses, and reproduction. Our study has shown that FER is required for plant vegetative growth, loss-of-function mutant displays stunted growth phenotype. We have also shown that FER positively contributes to plant immunity by negative regulation of Jasmonic Acid signaling via the phosphorylation and destabilization of the major transcription factor MYC2. To gain new insights into the molecular interplay of these processes and to identify new functions of FER, we carried out quantitative transcriptome, proteome, and phosphoproteome profiling of wild type (WT) and a loss-of-function fer mutant in Arabidopsis plants. Gene Ontology terms for hormone signaling, abiotic stress, and biotic stress significantly enriched among mis-expressed transcripts, proteins, and/or mis-phosphorylated proteins, in agreement with FER’s known roles in these processes. Analysis of multi-omics data and subsequent experimental evidence also identified previously unknown functions of FER in ER (Endoplasmic Reticulum) body formation, and autophagy. FER functions through transcription factor NAI1 to mediate ER body formation and TOR kinase to modulate autophagy. Furthermore, we found that a group of abscisic acid (ABA)-induced transcription factors are hypo-phosphorylated in the fer mutant and demonstrated that FER acts through ABI5 to negatively regulate the ABA response during germination. Our integrated-omics study therefore reveals novel 

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