Crop Biotech Update

Botrytis-Induced Kinase1 Negatively Regulates Phosphate Homeostasis in Arabidopsis

July 13, 2016
Plants have evolved complex networks to cope with deficiency of phosphate (Pi) in their environment. However, researchers have not fully studied the detailed molecular mechanisms that regulate Pi signaling pathways. Huijuan Zhang, together with researcher from Zhejiang University in China, now report how the involvement of Arabidopsis BOTRYTIS-INDUCED KINASE1 (BIK1) in the plants' response to Pi starvation.

Expression of BIK1 was induced by Pi starvation and activity was detected in roots, stems and leaves of plants grown in Pi starvation, indicating that BIK1 is responsive to Pi starvation stress. Plants with no BIK1 activity (bik plants) accumulated higher Pi in root and leaf tissues and exhibited shorter primary roots and more root hairs and lateral roots. Increased anthocyanin content, reduced reactive oxygen species and downregulation of Pi starvation-induced genes were also observed in bik plants grown under Pi deficient condition.

These results indicate that BIK1 is a Pi starvation-responsive gene that functions as a negative regulator of Pihomeostasis in Arabidopsis.

For more on this promising study, read the article in BMC Plant Biology.