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CDKC;2: A New Player in Plant Growth and Drought Response
Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) play key regulatory roles in cell cycle progression and transcription. But previous studies have demonstrated that there is no direct evidence that CDKC;2 is involved in cell cycle regulation.
Recently, a research team led by Prof. XIE Qi’s lab in the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, isolated and characterized drought tolerance mutant1 (dtm1) in Arabidopsis using forward genetic screening method. Furthermore, the loss of AtDTM1 increases cell division during leaf development. The phenotype is caused by the loss of CYCLIN-DEPENDENT KINASE C;2 (CDKC;2). They revealed how CDKC;2 works in plant growth and drought response. This work entited “Loss of CDKC;2 increases both cell division and drought tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana” has been published in The Plant Journal on 16 JUN 2017 (DOI: 10.1111/tpj.13609).
This work provides knowledge to understand the mechanisms between plant development and drought response, in which CDKC;2 is a key player. Under standard growth condition loss function of CDKC;2 promotes plant growth and under drought condition it reduces water evaporation from plant leaves resulting in the drought tolerance. This gene might be used in agronomic trait improvement and crop breeding.
This research is supported by grants from the National Basic Research Program of China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

A Proposed Model for CDKC;2 Function in Cell Division and the Effect on Drought Tolerance (Image by IGDB)