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Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Receptor kinases (RKs) are transmembrane proteins that have been shown to regulate an array of important processes in A. thaliana, including polar cell growth, plant reproduction, and many other plant growth processes. In this thesis, I examine RECEPTOR KINASE 7 (RK7) and FERONIA (FER), two closely related transmembrane RKs, and their effects on plant reproduction. The RK7 gene when knocked out (rk7) in conjunction with FER resulted in delayed plant growth, decreased seed yield, and a lower percentage of the seeds germinating as compared to the single FER knockout. Transgenic plants with GUS reporter driven by RK7 promoter and RK7 promoter expressed GFP-tagged RK7 (RK7-GFP) were generated to study, respectively, the expression property of the RK7 gene and characterize the location of the RK7 protein. RK7 expression increased in the papillary cells as a direct result of pollination. Transgenic plants with RK7-GFP showed that RK7 protein localizes to the plasma membrane of stigma cells and pollination induces prominent internalization of this protein. RK7 is also expressed during seedling growth. rk7 mutant seedlings had a much weaker physiological response to brassinosteroids than wild type plants, implicating an involvement of RK7 in brassinosteroid signaling. Taken together this data point to the importance of RK7 in plant growth and reproduction through its ability to receive and transduce signals.


First Advisor

Alice Cheung

Second Advisor

Hen-Ming Wu

Third Advisor

Dong Wang