Plant cell signaling triggers the abscission of entire organs, such as fruit, leaves and flowers. Previously, we characterized an ADP-ribosylation factor GTPase-activating protein, NEVERSHED (NEV), that regulates membrane trafficking and is essential for floral organ shedding in Arabidopsis. Through a screen for mutations that restore organ separation in nev flowers, we have identified a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase, EVERSHED (EVR), that functions as an inhibitor of abscission. Defects in the Golgi structure and location of the trans-Golgi network in nev abscission zone cells are rescued by a mutation in EVR, suggesting that EVR might regulate membrane trafficking during abscission. In addition to shedding their floral organs prematurely, nev evr flowers show enlarged abscission zones. A similar phenotype was reported for plants ectopically expressing INFLORESCENCE DEFICIENT IN ABSCISSION, a predicted signaling ligand for the HAESA/HAESA-LIKE2 receptor-like kinases, indicating that this signaling pathway may be constitutively active in nev evr flowers. We present a model in which EVR modulates the timing and region of abscission by promoting the internalization of other receptor-like kinases from the plasma membrane.
- Accepted November 22, 2009.