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1.  A correlative microscopy approach relates microtubule behaviour, local organ geometry, and cell growth at the Arabidopsis shoot apical meristem 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(18):5753-5767.
Cortical microtubules (CMTs) are often aligned in a particular direction in individual cells or even in groups of cells and play a central role in the definition of growth anisotropy. How the CMTs themselves are aligned is not well known, but two hypotheses have been proposed. According to the first hypothesis, CMTs align perpendicular to the maximal growth direction, and, according to the second, CMTs align parallel to the maximal stress direction. Since both hypotheses were formulated on the basis of mainly qualitative assessments, the link between CMT organization, organ geometry, and cell growth is revisited using a quantitative approach. For this purpose, CMT orientation, local curvature, and growth parameters for each cell were measured in the growing shoot apical meristem (SAM) of Arabidopsis thaliana. Using this approach, it has been shown that stable CMTs tend to be perpendicular to the direction of maximal growth in cells at the SAM periphery, but parallel in the cells at the boundary domain. When examining the local curvature of the SAM surface, no strict correlation between curvature and CMT arrangement was found, which implies that SAM geometry, and presumed geometry-derived stress distribution, is not sufficient to prescribe the CMT orientation. However, a better match between stress and CMTs was found when mechanical stress derived from differential growth was also considered.
doi:10.1093/jxb/ert352
PMCID: PMC3871827  PMID: 24153420
Arabidopsis thaliana; cortical microtubules; growth; mechanical stress; organ geometry; shoot apical meristem.
2.  Alignment between PIN1 Polarity and Microtubule Orientation in the Shoot Apical Meristem Reveals a Tight Coupling between Morphogenesis and Auxin Transport 
PLoS Biology  2010;8(10):e1000516.
Imaging and computational modeling of the Arabidopsis shoot meristem epidermis suggests that biomechanical signals coordinately regulate auxin efflux carrier distribution and microtubule patterning to orchestrate the extent and directionality of growth.
Morphogenesis during multicellular development is regulated by intercellular signaling molecules as well as by the mechanical properties of individual cells. In particular, normal patterns of organogenesis in plants require coordination between growth direction and growth magnitude. How this is achieved remains unclear. Here we show that in Arabidopsis thaliana, auxin patterning and cellular growth are linked through a correlated pattern of auxin efflux carrier localization and cortical microtubule orientation. Our experiments reveal that both PIN1 localization and microtubule array orientation are likely to respond to a shared upstream regulator that appears to be biomechanical in nature. Lastly, through mathematical modeling we show that such a biophysical coupling could mediate the feedback loop between auxin and its transport that underlies plant phyllotaxis.
Author Summary
The proper development of plant organs such as leaves or flowers depends both on localized growth, which can be controlled by the plant hormone auxin, and directional growth, which is dependent on each cell's microtubule cytoskeleton. In this paper we show that at the shoot apex where organs initiate the orientation of the microtubule cytoskeleton is correlated with the orientation of the auxin transporter PIN1, suggesting coordination between growth patterning at the tissue level and directional growth at the cellular level. Recent work has indicated that mechanical signals play a role in orienting the plant microtubule network, and here we show that such signals can also orient PIN1. In addition, we demonstrate through mathematical modeling that an auxin transport system that is coordinated by mechanical signals akin to those we observed in vivo is sufficient to give rise to the patterns of organ outgrowth found in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000516
PMCID: PMC2957402  PMID: 20976043

Results 1-2 (2)