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Dev Biol. 2001 Mar 1;231(1):113-24.

Latrunculin B-induced plant dwarfism: Plant cell elongation is F-actin-dependent.

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  • 1Zellbiologie der Pflanzen, Botanisches Institut, Rheinisch Friedrich-Wilhems-Universit√§t Bonn, D-53115, Germany. baluska@uni-bonn.de

Abstract

Marine macrolides latrunculins are highly specific toxins which effectively depolymerize actin filaments (generally F-actin) in all eukaryotic cells. We show that latrunculin B is effective on diverse cell types in higher plants and describe the use of this drug in probing F-actin-dependent growth and in plant development-related processes. In contrast to other eukaryotic organisms, cell divisions occurs in plant cells devoid of all actin filaments. However, the alignment of the division planes is often distorted. In addition to cell division, postembryonic development and morphogenesis also continue in the absence of F-actin. These experimental data suggest that F-actin is of little importance in the morphogenesis of higher plants, and that plants can develop more or less normally without F-actin. In contrast, F-actin turns out to be essential for cell elongation. When latrunculin B was added during germination, morphologically normal Arabidopsis and rye seedlings developed but, as a result of the absence of cell elongation, these were stunted, resembling either genetic dwarfs or environmental bonsai plants. In conclusion, F-actin is essential for the plant cell elongation, while this F-actin-dependent cell elongation is not an essential feature of plant-specific developmental programs.

PMID:
11180956
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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