Decoding Calcium Signals in an Early Diverging Land plant, Marchantia polymorpha

Tansley, Connor (2021) Decoding Calcium Signals in an Early Diverging Land plant, Marchantia polymorpha. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Calcium is a ubiquitous secondary messenger in plants that carries signals for a diverse range of stresses and developmental processes and coordinate responses to these stresses or developmental changes. Proteins decode these diverse signals through variable calcium binding domains. These decoder protein families have expanded extensively across the green lineage, resulting in functional redundancy between proteins which has made it hard to ascribe function to individual proteins. Marchantia polymorpha is a liverwort that diverged from the green lineage 450 million years ago and has not gone through any genome duplication or hybridisation events, making it a useful model for studying complex gene families.

This work shows that M. polymorpha has a simplified network of calcium decoder proteins including Calcineurin B-Like proteins (CBLs), CBL-Interacting Protein Kinases (CIPKs) and Calcium Dependent Protein Kinases (CDPKs). These calcium decoders fall into diverse subgroups which cover all of the subgroups of these protein families, likely meaning the decoders together cover many of the functions in angiosperms. Of these proteins, a subset show transcriptional changes in response to salt stress. Protein-protein interaction tests reveal that all the M. polymorpha CBLs and CIPKs are capable of interacting with each other. Genetic knock-out of a CIPK results in increased sensitivity to salt stress. A proposed CBL-CIPK pathway therefore likely forms part of a salt tolerance pathway in M. polymorpha.

Decreased functional redundancy in M. polymorpha make this system a good model plant system to investigate the unknown mechanistic details of the CBLCIPK pathway and calcium decoding.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2023 14:23
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2023 14:23


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