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Molecular cloning and functional characterization of the CEP RECEPTOR 1 gene MdCEPR1 of Apple (Malus × domestica)

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Leucine-rich repeat-receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) are major gene families that play an important role in in many aspects of plant growth and development particularly in the process of signal transmission. RLK XYLEM INTERMIXED WITH PHLOEM 1 (XIP1)/C-TERMINALLY ENCODED PEPTIDE (CEP) RECEPTOR 1 (CEPR1) has been identified as a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptor kinase. In this study, the MdCEPR1 gene (GenBank ID: DQ221207) from apple (Malus × domestica), was isolated and characterized. MdCEPR1 transcripts were highly accumulated in roots and leaves, and MdCEPR1 was significantly induced under low nitrate conditions. In addition, suppressing the MdCEPR1 gene in apple calli increased anthocyanin content. Overexpression of MdCEPR1 promoted growth of apple calli and Arabidopsis thaliana under low nitrate condition by increasing nitrate assimilation and up regulating the expression of genes involved in nitrate assimilation. Ectopic expression of MdCEPR1 also promoted lateral root development in transgenic Arabidopsis. Taken together, our results indicated that MdCEPR1 acts as a positive regulator of plant nitrate utilization and lateral root development.

Key message

In this study, the MdCEPR1 gene from apple, was isolated and characterized, and our results indicated that MdCEPR1 acts as a positive regulator of plant nitrate utilization and lateral root development. MdCEPR1 may be a useful target for marker-assisted breeding to improve crop yield and reduce the use of chemical fertilizer.

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We thank Ministry of Agriculture (CARS-27), Shandong Province (SDAIT-06-03, J18KA174), Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2011CQ007) and NSFC (31471854, 31601742) for funding to support this work.

Author information

Y-JH, X-FW and RL designed the research. RL, J-PA, and C-XY performed the experiments and analyzed the data. Y-JH, RL and X-FW wrote the manuscript text.

Correspondence to Xiao-Fei Wang or Yu-Jin Hao.

Additional information

Coomunicated by Henryk Flachowsky.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1—BLASTP results of MdCEPR1 protein with AtCEPR1 protein sequences (TIF 3264.6 kb)

Supplementary material 2—Identifcation of transgenic apple calli. (A) PCR for transgenic apple calli. (B) Relative expression levels of MdCEPR1 in transgenic calli (MdCEPR1-OX and MdCEPR1-anti) and the wild-type control (TIF 637.3 kb)

Supplementary material 3—Identifcation of MdCEPR1 transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. (A) PCR for MdCEPR1 transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. (B) Relative expression levels of MdCEPR1 in wild-type (Col) and MdCEPR1 transgenic Arabidopsis (L1, L2, and L3) (TIF 1058.7 kb)

Supplementary material 4—Root-growth phenotypes of wild type (Col) and MdCEPR1 transgenic Arabidopsis (L1, L2, and L3) growing in vermiculite and watered with a nutrient solution containing 0.1 mM NO3- (TIF 9256.1 kb)

Supplementary material 5— Root dry weight of wild-type (Col) and MdCEPR1 transgenic Arabidopsis (L1, L2, and L3) (TIF 109.3 kb)

Supplementary material 6 (DOC 41.5 kb)

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Li, R., An, J., You, C. et al. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of the CEP RECEPTOR 1 gene MdCEPR1 of Apple (Malus × domestica). Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 140, 539–550 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-019-01745-w

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  • Apple
  • LRR-RLKs
  • MdCEPR1
  • Anthocyanin biosynthesis
  • Nitrate response