Organized F-actin is essential for normal trichome morphogenesis in Arabidopsis

Daniel B. Szymanski, M. David Marks, Susan M. Wick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Actin microfilaments from a three-dimensional cytoskeletal network throughout the cell and constitute an essential throughway for organelle and vesicle transport. Development of Arabidopsis trichomes, unicellular structures derived from the epidermis, is being used as a genetic system in which to study actin-dependent growth in plant cells. The present study indicates that filamentous actin (F-actin) plays an important role during Arabidopsis trichome morphogenesis. For example, immunolocalization of actin filaments during trichome morphogenesis identified rearrangements of the cytoskeletal structure during the development of the mature cell. Moreover, pharmacological experiments indicate that there are distinct requirements for actin- and microtubule-dependent function during trichome morphogenesis. The F-actin-disrupting drug cytochalasin D does not affect the establishment of polarity during trichome development; however, maintenance and coordination of the normal pattern of cell growth are very sensitive to this drug. In contrast, oryzalin, an agent that depolymerizes microtubules, severely inhibits cell polarization. Furthermore, cytochalasin D treatment phenocopies a known class of mutations that cause distorted trichome morphology. Results of an analysis of cell shape and microfilament structure in wild-type, mutant, and drug-treated trichomes are consistent with a role for actin in the maintenance and coordination of an established growth pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2331-2347
Number of pages17
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999

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