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Plant Sci. 2012 May;187:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2012.01.010. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

The microtubule associated protein END BINDING 1 represses root responses to mechanical cues.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6.


The ability of roots to navigate around rocks and other debris as they grow through the soil requires a mechanism for detecting and responding to input from both touch and gravity sensing systems. The microtubule associated protein END BINDING 1b (EB1b) is involved in this process as mutants have defects responding to combinations of touch and gravity cues. This study investigates the role of EB1b in root responses to mechanical cues. We find that eb1b-1 mutant roots exhibit an increase over wild type in their response to touch and that the expression of EB1b genes in transgenic mutants restores the response to wild type levels, indicating that EB1b is an inhibitor of the response. Mutant roots are also hypersensitive to increased levels of mechanical stimulation, revealing the presence of another process that activates the response. These findings are supported by analyses of double mutants between eb1b-1 and seedlings carrying mutations in PHOSPHOGLUCOMUTASE (PGM), ALTERED RESPONSE TO GRAVITY1 (ARG1), or TOUCH3 (TCH3), genes that encode proteins involved in gravity sensing, signaling, or touch responses, respectively. A model is proposed in which root responses to mechanical cues are modulated by at least two competing regulatory processes, one that promotes touch-mediated growth and another, regulated by EB1b, which dampens root responses to touch and enhances gravitropism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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