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rock2 and rock3, two new gain-of-function variants of the cytokinin receptors AHK2 and AHK3

Organization name

ipal GmbH


The productivity of a plant can be influenced in various ways, e.g. by improving plant growth characteristics or by delaying leaf senescence. Cytokinins are a class of plant hormones controlling numerous aspects of plant development throughout the life cycle.

The present invention relates to two novel gain-of-function variants of the cytokinin receptors AHK2 and AHK3, namely rock2 and rock3 of Arabidopsis, to transgenic organisms comprising at least one of said new gain-of-function cytokinin receptor variants and to a method for the manufacturing of a transgenic plant comprising at least one of the new gain-of-function variants.

Compared to wild-type the Arabidopsis rock2 and rock3 mutants show:

  • enhanced vegetative growth
  • >75% increase of fresh weigth at 18 days after germination
  • 43% increase of rosette size

Shoot height, fresh weight of stems, the number of siliques on the main stem and the number of siliques per plant were all increased between 18% and 31% in Arabidopsis rock2 mutants compared to wild-type. Transgenic rock2- or rock3- overexpressing Arabidopsis plants show increased shoot height, a higher number of siliques per plant, thicker stems and bigger flowers.


  • Novel gain-of-function variants of the cytokinin receptors AHK2 and AHK3
  • Generation of transgenic rock2 and/or rock3 plants with improved productivity and/or growth characteristics

IP Rights

A European Patent application was filed in July 2009.


The technology was developed at the Free University of Berlin (Germany).

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