Kanamycin reveals the role played by glutamate receptors in shaping plant resource allocation

Christian Dubos, Janet Anne Willment, David Huggins, Guy H Grant, Malcolm M Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) play important roles in neurotransmission in animals. There is growing evidence that iGluRs also play important roles in plants. Using a chemical genetics approach, which combined a pH-homeostasis mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana (de-etiolated3), several different iGluR agonists, molecular modelling, and reporter gene expression in transgenic plants, we provide evidence that iGluR agonism can induce dramatic changes in plant development and metabolism. Systematic hypothesis testing revealed a signalling circuit that integrates amino acid and sugar signals to affect elongation growth and the deposition of carbon into starch and lignins. The data show that aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as kanamycin, and polyamines impinge upon this circuit. These findings provide a mechanism for the conversion of amino acid and sugar signals into an appropriate response at the gene expression level, and underline the similarities in iGluR agonism between animals and plants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalThe Plant Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


  • aminoglycosides
  • arabidopsis
  • arabidopsis proteins
  • binding sites
  • excitatory amino acid agonists
  • plant gene expression regulation
  • genotype
  • hydrogen-ion concentration
  • hypocotyl
  • kanamycin
  • lincomycin
  • biological models
  • mutation
  • nalidixic acid
  • phenotype
  • genetically modified plants,
  • receptors, glutamate
  • vacuolar proton-translocating atpases
  • d-aspartate receptor
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • polyamines
  • mutants
  • cells
  • transduction


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