Cysteine-rich receptor-like kinases (CRKs) are transmembrane proteins characterized by the presence of two domains of unknown function 26 (DUF26) in their ectodomain. The CRKs form one of the largest groups of receptor-like protein kinases in plants, but their biological functions have so far remained largely uncharacterized. We conducted a large-scale phenotyping approach of a nearly complete crk T-DNA insertion line collection showing that CRKs control important aspects of plant development and stress adaptation in response to biotic and abiotic stimuli in a non-redundant fashion. In particular, the analysis of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-related stress responses, such as regulation of the stomatal aperture, suggests that CRKs participate in ROS/redox signalling and sensing. CRKs play general and fine-tuning roles in the regulation of stomatal closure induced by microbial and abiotic cues. Despite their great number and high similarity, large-scale phenotyping identified specific functions in diverse processes for many CRKs and indicated that CRK2 and CRK5 play predominant roles in growth regulation and stress adaptation, respectively. As a whole, the CRKs contribute to specificity in ROS signalling. Individual CRKs control distinct responses in an antagonistic fashion suggesting future potential for using CRKs in genetic approaches to improve plant performance and stress tolerance.Peer reviewe
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