Small secreted peptides including CLEs have been identified as contributing to plant development. CLE26 and CLE45 have been shown to regulate protophloem differentiation in the root tip. Anne et al. used a combination of genetic screening and transcriptomics to identify factors downstream of these peptides. The two approaches converged on a gene encoding a previously uncharacterized leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase, which they named CLERK. They then demonstrated that CLERK is required for full sensing of root-active CLE peptides, and its topology suggests that it may act as a co-receptor for CLE peptides. CLERK is expressed in early developing protophloem, and some homologs can replace CLERK function when expressed under the CLERK promoter, suggesting that its action is context specific. (Summary by Mary Williams) Development 10.1242/dev.162354 An interview with the authors can be read here.