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Plant J. 2007 Mar;49(6):961-71. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

WVD2 is a novel microtubule-associated protein in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Laboratory of Genetics, 425-G Henry Mall, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Arabidopsis WAVE-DAMPENED 2 (WVD2) was identified by forward genetics as an activation-tagged allele that causes plant and organ stockiness and inversion of helical root growth handedness on agar surfaces. Plants with high constitutive expression of WVD2 or other members of the WVD2-LIKE (WDL) gene family have stems and roots that are short and thick, have reduced anisotropic cell elongation, are suppressed in a root-waving phenotype, and have inverted handedness of twisting in hypocotyls and roots compared with wild-type. The wvd2-1 mutant shows aberrantly organized cortical microtubules in peripheral root cap cells as well as reduced branching of trichomes, unicellular leaf structures whose development is regulated by microtubule stability. Orthologs of the WVD2/WDL family are found widely throughout the plant kingdom, but are not similar to non-plant proteins with the exception of a C-terminal domain distantly related to the vertebrate microtubule-associated protein TPX2. in vivo, WVD2 and its closest paralog WDL1 are localized to interphase cortical microtubules in leaves, hypocotyls and roots. Recombinant glutathione-S-transferase:WVD2 or maltose binding protein:WVD2 protein bind to and bundle microtubules in vitro. We speculate that a C-terminal domain of TPX2 has been utilised by the WVD2 family for functions critical to the organization of plant microtubules.

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