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  1. Initially identified as a key regulator of female fertility in Arabidopsis, the FERONIA (FER) receptor kinase is now recognized as crucial for almost all aspects of plant growth and survival. FER partners with a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein of the LLG family to act as coreceptors on the cell surface. The FER-LLG coreceptor interacts with different RAPID ALKALINIZATION FACTOR (RALF) peptide ligands to function in various growth and developmental processes and to respond to challenges from the environment. The RALF-FER-LLG signaling modules interact with molecules in the cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm, and nucleus and mediate an interwoven signaling network. Multiple FER-LLG modules, each anchored by FER or a FER-related receptor kinase, have been studied, illustrating the functional diversity and the mechanistic complexity of the FER family signaling modules. The challenges going forward are to distill from this complexity the unifying schemes where possible and attain precision and refinement in the knowledge of critical details upon which future investigations can be built. By focusing on the extensively characterized FER, this review provides foundational information to guide the next phase of research on FER in model as well as crop species and potential applications for improving plant growth and resilience.

    Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology, Volume 75 is May 2024. Please see for revised estimates.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 20, 2025
  2. In deciphering the global signaling capacity of FERONIA receptor kinase, Liu, Yeh, et al. discovered an extracellular phase separation process driven by FERONIA peptide ligand RALF-cell wall polysaccharide pectin interaction, which leads to cognate and non-cognate receptor clustering and promiscuous endocytosis as a coping mechanism in response to environmental stressors. Highlights Cell surface pectin-RALF1 phase separation recruits FERONIA-LLG1 into condensates RALF induces FERONIA-LLG1-dependent promiscuous receptor clustering and endocytosis RALF1-pectin molecular condensates function as surface sensors for stress signals FERONIA-LLG1-mediated global endocytosis ensures plant resilience under stress 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  3. Abstract Flowering plants have evolved numerous intraspecific and interspecific prezygotic reproductive barriers to prevent production of unfavourable offspring 1 . Within a species, self-incompatibility (SI) is a widely utilized mechanism that rejects self-pollen 2,3 to avoid inbreeding depression. Interspecific barriers restrain breeding between species and often follow the SI × self-compatible (SC) rule, that is, interspecific pollen is unilaterally incompatible (UI) on SI pistils but unilaterally compatible (UC) on SC pistils 1,4–6 . The molecular mechanisms underlying SI, UI, SC and UC and their interconnections in the Brassicaceae remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that the SI pollen determinant S -locus cysteine-rich protein/ S -locus protein 11 (SCR/SP11) 2,3 or a signal from UI pollen binds to the SI female determinant S -locus receptor kinase (SRK) 2,3 , recruits FERONIA (FER) 7–9 and activates FER-mediated reactive oxygen species production in SI stigmas 10,11 to reject incompatible pollen. For compatible responses, diverged pollen coat protein B-class 12–14 from SC and UC pollen differentially trigger nitric oxide, nitrosate FER to suppress reactive oxygen species in SC stigmas to facilitate pollen growth in an intraspecies-preferential manner, maintaining species integrity. Our results show that SRK and FER integrate mechanisms underlying intraspecific and interspecific barriers and offer paths to achieve distant breeding in Brassicaceae crops. 
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  4. Abstract The field of plant cell biology has a rich history of discovery, going back to Robert Hooke’s discovery of cells themselves. The development of microscopes and preparation techniques has allowed for the visualization of subcellular structures, and the use of protein biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology has enabled the identification of proteins and mechanisms that regulate key cellular processes. In this review, seven senior plant cell biologists reflect on the development of this research field in the past decades, including the foundational contributions that their teams have made to our rich, current insights into cell biology. Topics covered include signaling and cell morphogenesis, membrane trafficking, cytokinesis, cytoskeletal regulation, and cell wall biology. In addition, these scientists illustrate the pathways to discovery in this exciting research field. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Cell walls are at the front line of interactions between walled-organisms and their environment. They support cell expansion, ensure cell integrity and, for multicellular organisms such as plants, they provide cell adherence, support cell shape morphogenesis and mediate cell–cell communication. Wall-sensing, detecting perturbations in the wall and signaling the cell to respond accordingly, is crucial for growth and survival. In recent years, plant signaling research has suggested that a large family of receptor-like kinases (RLKs) could function as wall sensors partly because their extracellular domains show homology with malectin, a diglucose binding protein from the endoplasmic reticulum of animal cells. Studies of several malectin/malectin-like (M/ML) domain-containing RLKs (M/MLD-RLKs) from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana have revealed an impressive array of biological roles, controlling growth, reproduction and stress responses, processes that in various ways rely on or affect the cell wall. Malectin homologous sequences are widespread across biological kingdoms, but plants have uniquely evolved a highly expanded family of proteins with ML domains embedded within various protein contexts. Here, we present an overview on proteins with malectin homologous sequences in different kingdoms, discuss the chromosomal organization of Arabidopsis M/MLD-RLKs and the phylogenetic relationship between these proteins from several model and crop species. We also discuss briefly the molecular networks that enable the diverse biological roles served by M/MLD-RLKs studied thus far. 
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  6. Abstract

    A signaling complex comprising members of the LORELEI (LRE)-LIKE GPI-anchored protein (LLG) and Catharanthus roseus RECEPTOR-LIKE KINASE 1-LIKE (CrRLK1L) families perceive RAPID ALKALINIZATION FACTOR (RALF) peptides and regulate growth, reproduction, immunity, and stress responses in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Genes encoding these proteins are members of multigene families in most angiosperms and could generate thousands of signaling complex variants. However, the links between expansion of these gene families and the functional diversification of this critical signaling complex as well as the evolutionary factors underlying the maintenance of gene duplicates remain unknown. Here, we investigated LLG gene family evolution by sampling land plant genomes and explored the function and expression of angiosperm LLGs. We found that LLG diversity within major land plant lineages is primarily due to lineage-specific duplication events, and that these duplications occurred both early in the history of these lineages and more recently. Our complementation and expression analyses showed that expression divergence (i.e. regulatory subfunctionalization), rather than functional divergence, explains the retention of LLG paralogs. Interestingly, all but one monocot and all eudicot species examined had an LLG copy with preferential expression in male reproductive tissues, while the other duplicate copies showed highest levels of expression in female or vegetative tissues. The single LLG copy in Amborella trichopoda is expressed vastly higher in male compared to in female reproductive or vegetative tissues. We propose that expression divergence plays an important role in retention of LLG duplicates in angiosperms.

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  7. Signaling between pollen tube and female gametophyte ensures that only one pollen tube gets through but can re-establish access in case of failure. 
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