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Plant Cell. 2005 Nov;17(11):2911-21. Epub 2005 Sep 30.

RNA interference identifies a calcium-dependent protein kinase involved in Medicago truncatula root development.

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Department of Plant Biology, University of Minesota, St. Paul, Minesota 55108, USA.


Changes in cellular or subcellular Ca2+ concentrations play essential roles in plant development and in the responses of plants to their environment. However, the mechanisms through which Ca2+ acts, the downstream signaling components, as well as the relationships among the various Ca2+-dependent processes remain largely unknown. Using an RNA interference-based screen for gene function in Medicago truncatula, we identified a gene that is involved in root development. Silencing Ca2+-dependent protein kinase1 (CDPK1), which is predicted to encode a Ca2+-dependent protein kinase, resulted in significantly reduced root hair and root cell lengths. Inactivation of CDPK1 is also associated with significant diminution of both rhizobial and mycorrhizal symbiotic colonization. Additionally, microarray analysis revealed that silencing CDPK1 alters cell wall and defense-related gene expression. We propose that M. truncatula CDPK1 is a key component of one or more signaling pathways that directly or indirectly modulates cell expansion or cell wall synthesis, possibly altering defense gene expression and symbiotic interactions.

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