Angiosperm cell adhesion is dependent on interactions between pectin polysaccharides which make up a significant portion of the plant cell wall. Cell adhesion in Arabidopsis may also be regulated through a pectin-related signaling cascade mediated by a putative O-fucosyltransferase ESMERALDA1 (ESMD1), and the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) domains of the pectin binding Wall associated Kinases (WAKs) are a primary candidate substrate for ESMD1 activity. Genetic interactions between WAKs and ESMD1 were examined using a dominant hyperactive allele of WAK2, WAK2cTAP, and a mutant of the putative O-fucosyltransferase ESMD1. WAK2cTAP expression results in a dwarf phenotype and activation of the stress response and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, while esmd1 is a suppressor of a pectin deficiency induced loss of adhesion. Here we find that esmd1 suppresses the WAK2cTAP dwarf and stress response phenotype, including ROS accumulation and gene expression. Additional analysis suggests that mutations of the potential WAK EGF O-fucosylation site also abate the WAK2cTAP phenotype, yet only evidence for an N-linked but not O-linked sugar addition can be found. Moreover, a WAK locus deletion allele has no effect on the ability of esmd1 to suppress an adhesion deficiency, indicating WAKs and their modification are not a required component of the potential ESMD1 signaling mechanism involved in the control of cell adhesion. The WAK locus deletion does however affect the induction of ROS but not the transcriptional response induced by the elicitors Flagellin, Chitin and oligogalacturonides (OGs).
Kohorn, Bruce D.; Greed, Bridgid E.; Mouille, Gregory; Verger, Stéphane; and Kohorn, Susan L., "Effects of Arabidopsis wall associated kinase mutations on ESMERALDA1 and elicitor induced ROS" (2021). Biology Faculty Publications. 158.