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Enhanced gravitropism of roots with a disrupted cap actin cytoskeletonThe actin cytoskeleton has been proposed to be a major player in plant gravitropism. However, understanding the role of actin in this process is far from complete. To address this problem, we conducted an analysis of the effect of Latrunculin B (Lat B), a potent actin-disrupting drug, on root gravitropism using various parameters that included detailed curvature kinetics, estimation of gravitropic sensitivity, and monitoring of curvature development after extended clinorotation. Lat B treatment resulted in a promotion of root curvature after a 90 degrees reorientation in three plant species tested. More significantly, the sensitivity of maize (Zea mays) roots to gravity was enhanced after actin disruption, as determined from a comparison of presentation time of Lat B-treated versus untreated roots. A short 10-min gravistimulus followed by extended rotation on a 1-rpm clinostat resulted in extensive gravitropic responses, manifested as curvature that often exceeded 90 degrees. Application of Lat B to the cap or elongation zone of maize roots resulted in the disruption of the actin cytoskeleton, which was confined to the area of localized Lat B application. Only roots with Lat B applied to the cap displayed the strong curvature responses after extended clinorotation. Our study demonstrates that disrupting the actin cytoskeleton in the cap leads to the persistence of a signal established by a previous gravistimulus. Therefore, actin could function in root gravitropism by providing a mechanism to regulate the proliferation of a gravitropic signal originating from the cap to allow the root to attain its correct orientation or set point angle.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Hou, Guichuan
(The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Inc 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401, United States)
Mohamalawari, Deepti R.
Blancaflor, Elison B.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Plant physiology
Volume: 131
Issue: 3
ISSN: 0032-0889
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Plant Biology
Non-NASA Center

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