Overexpression of the leucine-rich receptor-like kinase gene LRK2 increases drought tolerance and tiller number in rice. Academic Article uri icon


  • Drought represents a key limiting factor of global crop distribution. Receptor-like kinases play major roles in plant development and defence responses against stresses such as drought. In this study, LRK2, which encodes a leucine-rich receptor-like kinase, was cloned and characterized and found to be localized on the plasma membrane in rice. Promoter-GUS analysis revealed strong expression in tiller buds, roots, nodes and anthers. Transgenic plants overexpressing LRK2 exhibited enhanced tolerance to drought stress due to an increased number of lateral roots compared with the wild type at the vegetative stage. Moreover, ectopic expression of LRK2 seedlings resulted in increased tiller development. Yeast two-hybrid screening and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) indicated a possible interaction between LRK2 and elongation factor 1 alpha (OsEF1A) invitro. These results suggest that LRK2 functions as a positive regulator of the drought stress response and tiller development via increased branch development in rice. These findings will aid our understanding of branch regulation in other grasses and support improvements in rice genetics.

published proceedings

  • Plant Biotechnol J

author list (cited authors)

  • Kang, J., Li, J., Gao, S., Tian, C., & Zha, X.

citation count

  • 40

complete list of authors

  • Kang, Junfang||Li, Jianmin||Gao, Shuang||Tian, Chao||Zha, Xiaojun

publication date

  • September 2017