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Open Access Research article

Interaction between two rice mitogen activated protein kinases and its possible role in plant defense

Arsheed H Sheikh, Badmi Raghuram, Siddhi K Jalmi, Dhammaprakash P Wankhede, Pallavi Singh and Alok K Sinha*

Author Affiliations

National Institute of Plant Genome Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi 110067, India

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BMC Plant Biology 2013, 13:121  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-121

Published: 28 August 2013



The canonical mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway plays a vital role in carrying out the normal growth and development of the plant. The pathway, connecting the upstreams signal with the downstream target is considered to be linear, mostly starting with a MAPKKK and ending in a MAPK.


Here we report a novel interaction between two rice MAPKs, OsMPK20-4 and OsMPK3 suggesting the complex nature of the pathway rather than a linear one at individual steps. The interaction between OsMPK20-4 and OsMPK3 found by yeast two-hybrid analysis was confirmed in planta by co-immunoprecipitation and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assays. The interaction is specific and is phosphorylation independent. The results suggest a role of the interaction between OsMPK20-4 and OsMPK3 in basic plant defense.


The current novel work showing the physical interaction between two plant MAPKs, OsMPK20-4 and OsMPK3 is the diversion from the dogma of a typical MAPK cascade thereby opening a new dimension to the MAPK signal transduction.

MAP kinase; Protein-protein interaction; Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci; Rice; Yeast two-hybrid assay