The Origin of Phragmoplast Asymmetry

Andrei P. Smertenko, Bernard Piette, Patrick J. Hussey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The phragmoplast coordinates cytokinesis in plants [1]. It directs vesicles to the midzone, the site where they coalesce to form the new cell plate. Failure in phragmoplast function results in aborted or incomplete cytokinesis leading to embryo lethality, morphological defects, or multinucleate cells [2, 3]. The asymmetry of vesicular traffic is regulated by microtubules [1, 4, 5, 6], and the current model suggests that this asymmetry is established and maintained through treadmilling of parallel microtubules. However, we have analyzed the behavior of microtubules in the phragmoplast using live-cell imaging coupled with mathematical modeling and dynamic simulations and report that microtubules initiate randomly in the phragmoplast and that the majority exhibit dynamic instability with higher turnover rates nearer to the midzone. The directional transport of vesicles is possible because the majority of the microtubules polymerize toward the midzone. Here, we propose the first inclusive model where microtubule dynamics and phragmoplast asymmetry are consistent with the localization and activity of proteins known to regulate microtubule assembly and disassembly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1924-1930
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume21
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2011

Keywords

  • DIVISION
  • ORGANIZATION
  • HIGHER-PLANTS
  • CYTOKINESIS
  • PROTEINS
  • DYNAMICS
  • MICROTUBULE REORGANIZATION
  • GAMMA-TUBULIN COMPLEX
  • ARABIDOPSIS-THALIANA
  • TOBACCO BY-2 CELLS

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