BackgroundProtein kinases catalyze the transfer of a phosphate moiety from a phosphate donor to the substrate molecule, thus playing critical roles in cell signaling and metabolism. Although plant genomes contain more than 1000 genes that encode kinases, knowledge is limited about the function of each of these kinases. A major obstacle that hinders progress towards kinase characterization is functional redundancy. To address this challenge, we previously developed the rice kinase database (RKD) that integrated omics-scale data within a phylogenetics context.
ResultsAn updated version of rice kinase database (RKD) that contains metadata derived from NCBI GEO expression datasets has been developed. RKD 2.0 facilitates in-depth transcriptomic analyses of kinase-encoding genes in diverse rice tissues and in response to biotic and abiotic stresses and hormone treatments. We identified 261 kinases specifically expressed in particular tissues, 130 that are significantly up- regulated in response to biotic stress, 296 in response to abiotic stress, and 260 in response to hormones. Based on this update and Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) analysis, we estimated that 19 out of 26 genes characterized through loss-of-function studies confer dominant functions. These were selected because they either had paralogous members with PCC values of <0.5 or had no paralog.
ConclusionCompared with the previous version of RKD, RKD 2.0 enables more effective estimations of functional redundancy or dominance because it uses comprehensive expression profiles rather than individual profiles. The integrated analysis of RKD with PCC establishes a single platform for researchers to select rice kinases for functional analyses.