Scanning for new BRI1 mutations via TILLING analysis

Chao Sun, Kan Yan, Jian Ting Han, Liang Tao, Ming Hui Lv, Tao Shi, Yong Xing He, Michael Wierzba, Frans E. Tax, Jia Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The identification and characterization of a mutational spectrum for a specific protein can help to elucidate its detailed cellular functions. BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE1 (BRI1), a multidomain transmembrane receptor-like kinase, is a major receptor of brassinosteroids in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Within the last two decades, over 20 different bri1 mutant alleles have been identified, which helped to determine the significance of each domain within BRI1. To further understand the molecular mechanisms of BRI1, we tried to identify additional alleles via targeted induced local lesions in genomes. Here, we report our identification of 83 new point mutations in BRI1, including nine mutations that exhibit an allelic series of typical bri1 phenotypes, from subtle to severe morphological alterations. We carried out biochemical analyses to investigate possible mechanisms of these mutations in affecting brassinosteroid signaling. A number of interesting mutations have been isolated via this study. For example, bri1-702, the only weak allele identified so far with a mutation in the activation loop, showed reduced autophosphorylation activity. bri1-705, a subtle allele with a mutation in the extracellular portion, disrupts the interaction of BRI1 with its ligand brassinolide and coreceptor BRI1-ASSOCIATED RECEPTOR KINASE1. bri1-706, with a mutation in the extracellular portion, is a subtle defective mutant. Surprisingly, root inhibition analysis indicated that it is largely insensitive to exogenous brassinolide treatment. In this study, we found that bri1-301 possesses kinase activity in vivo, clarifying a previous report arguing that kinase activity may not be necessary for the function of BRI1. These data provide additional insights into our understanding of the early events in the brassinosteroid signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1881-1896
Number of pages16
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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