Recently, The Plant Cell, a top journal on botany, published a research paper CIK receptor kinases determine cell fate specification during early anther development in Arabidopsis online. This paper, revealing the molecular genetics mechanism of a group of receptor kinases controlling the early anther development of Arabidopsis, was written by the research group led by Prof. Gou Xiaoping, and the group was affiliated with the key lab of Ministry of Education on “cells activity and adversity adaptation”of School of Life Sciences, LZU（DOI: https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.17.00586）.
The receptor kinase is an ultra protein family with numerous members in plants, and the existing research has shown its significant role in the growth and development of plants. Dedicating themselves to systematically studying the receptor kinases of Arabidopsis, the research group led by Prof. Gou Xiaoping found a set of co-receptor kinases maintaining the stability of stem cells of plants. The research results were published in a globally famous plant journal NaturePlants on March 2018 （https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-018-0123-z). Further research on CIK receptor kinases found that the archesporial cells of part of the anther of its triple missing mutants cik1/2/3 and quadruple missing mutants cik1/2/3/4 could not conduct the normal asymmetric periclinal division, and then shifed to the anticlinal division. However, this shift influenced the division of the archesporial cells and anther wall cells of the mutant anther, resulting the lack of the anther wall cells in the first three tiers of the anther in St5 phase as well as an increase in small spore mother cells. These phenotypes of the mutant anther are highly similar to the phenotypes of the early anthers of bam1/2 and rpk2. Genetics analysis showed that CIKs and BAM1/2 jointly controlled the division of anthers’ archesporial cells, and they controlled the fate of the anthers’ archesporial cells and anther wall cells together with RPK2. Biochemical analysis verified that BAM1/2 and RPK2 could interact with CIKs and phosphorylate the latter. As the male organ of the high-level flowering plants, anthers play an important role in the sextual reproduction and heredity. Therefore, this research is quite instructive to produce the male-sterile lines and use them in crop breeding.
Cui Yanwei, doctoral student of LZU, is the first author of the paper, Hu Chong, young researcher, Zhu Yafen and Cheng Kaili, graduate students of LZU, participate in writing the paper, and Prof. Li Jia is the coauthor of the paper. Relevant work has gained financial support from National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the Ministry of Education.
(Translated by Yang Han; proofread by Zhang Yuyuan; edited by Zhang Yuyuan)