Journal Article

Microtubule Defects and Cell Morphogenesis in the <i>lefty1lefty2</i> Tubulin Mutant of <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i>

Tatsuya Abe, Siripong Thitamadee and Takashi Hashimoto

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 45, issue 2, pages 211-220
Published in print February 2004 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online February 2004 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Microtubule Defects and Cell Morphogenesis in the lefty1lefty2 Tubulin Mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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lefty1 and lefty2 are semi-dominant left-handed helical growth mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana, which result from identical dominant-negative amino acid substitutions in α-tubulin 6 and α-tubulin 4, respectively. Here we characterized the expression patterns of the affected tubulin genes and the phenotypes of the lefty double mutant to address increasing effects of microtubule defects on cell morphogenesis. Both tubulin genes were expressed ubiquitously in examined tissue and cell types, and the α-tubulin 2/4/6 subfamily transcripts predominated over other α-tubulin transcripts in Arabidopsis seedlings. The lefty double mutant seedlings showed helical growth in hypocotyls and radial cell expansion in the root elongation zone where mutant cortical microtubule arrays were more fragmented and less well aligned than wild-type arrays. Branching of leaf trichomes was highly reduced. In adult mutant plants, anisotropic growth of anther filament cells was severely impaired. These results suggest that left-handed twisted elongation is an intermediate state that leads to full isotropic expansion as the cortical microtubules are increasingly destabilized.

Keywords: Keywords: α-tubulin — Arabidopsis thaliana — Helical growth — Isotropic expansion — lefty mutants — Microtubules.; Abbreviations: GFP, green fluorescent protein; MT, microtubule; TUA4, α-tubulin 4; TUA6, α-tubulin 6.

Journal Article.  5954 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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