Plants can sense and respond to mechanical stimuli, like animals. An early mechanism of mechanosensing and response is speculated to be governed by as-yet-unidentified sensory complexes containing a Ca2+-permeable, stretch-activated (SA) channel. However, the components or regulators of such complexes are poorly understood at the molecular level in plants. Here, we report the molecular identification of a plasma membrane protein (designated Mca1) that correlates Ca2+ influx with mechanosensing in Arabidopsis thaliana. MCA1 cDNA was cloned by the functional complementation of lethality of a yeast mid1 mutant lacking a putative Ca2+-permeable SA channel component. Mca1 was localized to the yeast plasma membrane as an integral membrane protein and mediated Ca2+ influx. Mca1 also increased [Ca2+]cyt upon plasma membrane distortion in Arabidopsis. The growth of MCA1-overexpressing plants was impaired in a high-calcium but not a low-calcium medium. The primary roots of mca1-null plants failed to penetrate a harder agar medium from a softer one. These observations demonstrate that Mca1 plays a crucial role in a Ca2+-permeable SA channel system that leads to mechanosensing in Arabidopsis, We anticipate our findings to be a starting point for a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms of mechanotransduction in plants.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2007 Feb 27|
- Calcium channel
- Calcium uptake
ASJC Scopus subject areas