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A Cytosolic Protein Kinase STY46 in Arabidopsis thaliana Is Involved in Plant Growth and Abiotic Stress Response

Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA
College of Agronomy, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot 010019, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Institute of Flowers & Vegetables, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China.
Plants 2020, 9(1), 57;
Received: 19 November 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 27 December 2019 / Published: 2 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch Metabolism in Plants)
Starch provides plants with carbon and energy during stressful periods; however, relatively few regulators of starch metabolism under stress-induced carbon starvation have been discovered. We studied a protein kinase Ser/Thr/Tyr (STY) 46, identified by gene co-expression network analysis as a potential regulator of the starch starvation response in Arabidopsis thaliana. We showed that STY46 was induced by (1) abscisic acid and prolonged darkness, (2) by abiotic stressors, including salinity and osmotic stress, and (3) by conditions associated with carbon starvation. Characterization of STY46 T-DNA knockout mutants indicated that there was functional redundancy among the STY gene family, as these genotypes did not show strong phenotypes. However, Arabidopsis with high levels of STY46 transcripts (OE-25) grew faster at the early seedling stage, had higher photosynthetic rates, and more carbon was stored as protein in the seeds under control conditions. Further, OE-25 source leaf accumulated more sugars under 100 mM NaCl stress, and salinity also accelerated root growth, which is consistent with an adaptive response. Salt-stressed OE-25 partitioned 14C towards sugars and amino acids, and away from starch and protein in source leaves. Together, these findings suggested that STY46 may be part of the salinity stress response pathway that utilizes starch during early plant growth. View Full-Text
Keywords: abiotic stress; carbon allocation; carbon partitioning; protein kinases abiotic stress; carbon allocation; carbon partitioning; protein kinases
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dong, S.; Zhang, F.; Beckles, D.M. A Cytosolic Protein Kinase STY46 in Arabidopsis thaliana Is Involved in Plant Growth and Abiotic Stress Response. Plants 2020, 9, 57.

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