Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Isolation and Functional characterisation of Somatic Embryogenesis Receptor Kinase (SERK) gene in rice (Oryza sativa)

Aishwarya Singh

Department of Environmental Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh

Dr. Debasis Chakrabarty

Sr. Scientist & Coordinator AcSIR-NBRI, Genetics and Molecular Biology Division, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow


Rice (Oryza sativa L.), a major cereal crop, is largely responsive for tissue culture and capable of regeneration in in-vitro conditions. Somatic embryogenesis, an artificial process to develop plants from a single, or a group of, somatic cell(s), mediates several biotechnological applications such as providing source for genetic transformations, clonal propagation of genetically uniform plant material, development of synthetic seeds, and many more, desired for advancement in understanding of plant sciences. Amongst two subspecies of rice, indica and japonica, indica sub-species has been less responsive to in-vitro culture as compared to japonica. Oryza sativa Receptor-like Kinase1, a member of SERK (Somatic Embryogenesis Receptor Kinase) gene family has been reported to play an important role in rice somatic embryogenesis. In the present study, selected SERK gene was isolated from cDNA library of japonica rice. The isolated SERK gene was further transformed in pTZ vector for subsequent cloning. Selected gene was transformed in pIRS-154 vector using site-specific primers (BamHI-F and KpnI-R) for further characterization. The present study will help to explore the role of selected SERK gene in in-vitro embryogenesis and thereby may help improve somatic embryogenesis in indica subspecies. Functional validation of above-mentioned gene may also help in elucidating its precise functions in regulating various facets of plant development.

Keywords: Somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase, Oryza sativa, Transformation, PCR, Agrobacterium tumifaciens, E.coli

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