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Protoplasma. 2007;230(3-4):193-202. Epub 2007 Apr 24.

Arabidopsis thaliana myosin XIK is involved in root hair as well as trichome morphogenesis on stems and leaves.

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Department of Gene Technology, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia.


Myosins form a large superfamily of molecular motors that move along actin filaments. The functions of myosins in plant cells are thought to be related to various processes: cell division, movement of mitochondria and chloroplasts, cytoplasmic streaming, rearrangement of transvacuolar strands, and statolith positioning. Class VIII and XI myosins are represented in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome by 4 and 13 potential genes, respectively. The roles of individual class XI myosins and their cellular targets in A. thaliana are still unclear. In this work we implemented a reverse genetic approach to analyse the loss-of-function mutants of XIK, a representative of class XI myosins in A. thaliana. Three different T-DNA insertion mutants in the myosin XIK gene showed similar phenotypes: impaired growth of root hair cells, twisted shape of stem trichomes, and irregular size, branch positioning, and branch expansion of leaf trichomes. Morphometric analysis of mutant seedlings showed that the average length of root hairs was reduced up to 50% in comparison with wild-type root hairs, suggesting an involvement of the class XI myosin XIK in tip growth. On leaves, the proportion of trichomes with short branches was doubleed in mutant plants, and the mutant trichomes possessed a mildly twisted shape. Therefore, we concluded that myosin XIK is involved also in the elongation of stalks and branches of trichomes.

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