Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 133–150 | Cite as

Pea lectin receptor-like kinase promotes high salinity stress tolerance in bacteria and expresses in response to stress in planta

  • Amita Joshi
  • Hung Quang Dang
  • Neha Vaid
  • Narendra Tuteja


The plant lectin receptor-like kinases (LecRLKs) are involved in various signaling pathways but their role in salinity stress tolerance has not heretofore been well described. Salinity stress negatively affects plant growth/productivity and threatens food security worldwide. Based on functional gene-mining assay, we have isolated 34 salinity tolerant genes out of one million Escherichia coli (SOLR) transformants containing pea cDNAs grown in 0.8 M NaCl. Sequence analysis of one of these revealed homology to LecRLK, which possesses N-myristilation and N-glycosylation sites thus corroborating the protein to be a glycoconjugate. The homology based computational modeling of the kinase domain suggested high degree of conservation with the protein already known to be stress responsive in plants. The NaCl tolerance provided by PsLecRLK to the above bacteria was further confirmed in E. coli (DH5α). In planta studies showed that the expression of PsLecRLK cDNA was significantly upregulated in response to NaCl as compared to K+ and Li+ ions, suggesting the Na+ ion specific response. Transcript of the PsLecRLK gene accumulates mainly in roots and shoots. The purified 47 kDa recombinant PsLecRLK-KD (kinase domain) protein has been shown to phosphorylate general substrates like MBP and casein. This study not only suggests the conservation of the cellular response to high salinity stress across prokaryotes and plant kingdom but also provides impetus to develop novel concepts for better understanding of mechanism of stress tolerance in bacteria and plants. It also opens up new avenues for studying practical aspects of plant salinity tolerance for enhanced agricultural productivity.


Escherichia coli Functional screening Glycoconjugates Lectin receptor-like kinase Pisum sativum Salinity stress tolerance 



cellular stress response

E. coli

Escherichia coli


isopropyl thio-β-D-galactopyranoside


lectin receptor-like kinase


Mylein basic protein



We thank Drs. Sudhir K. Sopory, Renu Tuteja (ICGEB, New Delhi, India) and Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA) for helpful comments/corrections. Work on plant stress tolerance in NT’s laboratory is partially supported by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amita Joshi
    • 1
  • Hung Quang Dang
    • 1
  • Neha Vaid
    • 1
  • Narendra Tuteja
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Molecular Biology GroupInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyNew DelhiIndia

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