Overexpression in Arabidopsis of a Plasma Membrane-targeting Glutamate Receptor from Small Radish Increases Glutamate-mediated Ca2+ Influx and Delays Fungal Infection

  • Kang, Seock (Department of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Ho Bang (Department of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Hyoungseok (Department of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Choi, Jin Young (Department of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Heu, Sunggi (Plant Pathology Division, National Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Oh, Chang Jae (Department of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kwon, Soon Il (Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of Missouri, Columbia) ;
  • An, Chung Sun (Department of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2006.03.17
  • Accepted : 2006.05.16
  • Published : 2006.06.30


Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are ligand-gated nonselective cation channels that mediate fast excitatory neurotransmission. Although homologues of the iGluRs have been identified in higher plants, their roles are largely unknown. In this work we isolated a full-length cDNA clone (RsGluR) encoding a putative glutamate receptor from small radish. An RsGluR:mGFP fusion protein was localized to the plasma membrane. In Arabidopsis thaliana overexpressing the fulllength cDNA, glutamate treatment triggered greater $Ca^{2+}$ influx in the root cells of transgenic seedlings than in those of the wild type. Transgenic plants exhibited multiple morphological changes such as necrosis at their tips and the margins of developing leaves, dwarf stature with multiple secondary inflorescences, and retarded growth, as previously observed in transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing AtGluR3.2 [Kim et al. (2001)]. Microarray analysis showed that jasmonic acid (JA)-responsive genes including defensins and JA-biosynthetic genes were up-regulated. RsGluR overexpression also inhibited growth of a necrotic fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea possibly due to up-regulation of the defensins. Based on these results, we suggest that RsGluR is a glutamate-gated $Ca^{2+}$ channel located in the plasma membrane of higher plants and plays a direct or indirect role in defense against pathogen infection by triggering JA biosynthesis.


Arabidopsis thaliana;Calcium Influx;Glutamate Receptor;Localization;Microarray;Overexpression


Supported by : Korea Research Foundation


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