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Curr Biol. 2000 Nov 2;10(21):1371-4.

The Arabidopsis KNOLLE and KEULE genes interact to promote vesicle fusion during cytokinesis.

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ZMBP, Entwicklungsgenetik, Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 1, Tübingen, Germany.


Partitioning of the cytoplasm during cytokinesis or cellularisation requires syntaxin-mediated membrane fusion [1-3]. Whereas in animals, membrane fusion promotes ingression of a cleavage furrow from the plasma membrane [4,5], somatic cells of higher plants form de novo a transient membrane compartment, the cell plate, which is initiated in the centre of the division plane and matures into a new cell wall and its flanking plasma membranes [6,7]. Cell plate formation results from the fusion of Golgi-derived vesicles delivered by a dynamic cytoskeletal array, the phragmoplast. Mutations in two Arabidopsis genes, KNOLLE (KN) and KEULE (KEU), cause abnormal seedlings with multinucleate cells and incomplete cell walls [1,8]. The KN gene encodes a cytokinesis-specific syntaxin which localises to the cell plate [9]. Here, we show that KN protein localisation is unaffected in keu mutant cells, which, like kn, display phragmoplast microtubules and accumulate ADL1 protein in the plane of cell division but vesicles fail to fuse with one another. Genetic interactions between KN and KEU were analysed in double mutant embryos. Whereas the haploid gametophytes gave rise to functional gametes, the embryos behaved like single cells displaying multiple, synchronously cycling nuclei, cell cycle-dependent microtubule arrays and ADL1 accumulation between pairs of daughter nuclei. This complete inhibition of cytokinesis from fertilisation indicates that KN and KEU, have partially redundant functions and interact specifically in vesicle fusion during cytokinesis of somatic cells.

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