[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oomycetes are fungal-like pathogens that cause notorious diseases. Protecting crops against oomycetes requires regular spraying with chemicals, many of which with unknown mode of action. In the 1990's, flumorph was identified as a novel crop protection agent. It was shown to inhibit the growth of oomycete pathogens including Phytophthora species, presumably by targeting actin. We recently generated transgenic Phytophthora infestans strains that express Lifeact-eGFP, which enabled us to monitor the actin cytoskeleton during hyphal growth. For analyzing effects of oomicides (8) on the actin cytoskeleton in vivo, the P. infestans Lifeact-eGFP strain is an excellent tool. Here we confirm that flumorph is an oomicide with growth inhibitory activity. Microscopic analyses showed that low flumorph concentrations provoked hyphal tip swellings accompanied by accumulation of actin plaques in the apex, a feature reminiscent of tips of non-growing hyphae. At higher concentrations swelling was more pronounced and accompanied by an increase in hyphal bursting events. However, in hyphae that remained intact, actin filaments were indistinguishable from those in non-treated, non-growing hyphae. In contrast, in hyphae treated with the actin depolymerising drug latrunculin B, no hyphal bursting was observed but the actin filaments were completely disrupted. This difference demonstrates that actin is not the primary target of flumorph.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is the major mechanism for eukaryotic plasma membrane-based proteome turn-over. In plants, clathrin-mediated endocytosis is essential for physiology and development, but the identification and organization of the machinery operating this process remains largely obscure. Here, we identified an eight-core-component protein complex, the TPLATE complex, essential for plant growth via its role as major adaptor module for clathrin-mediated endocytosis. This complex consists of evolutionarily unique proteins that associate closely with core endocytic elements. The TPLATE complex is recruited as dynamic foci at the plasma membrane preceding recruitment of adaptor protein complex 2, clathrin, and dynamin-related proteins. Reduced function of different complex components severely impaired internalization of assorted endocytic cargoes, demonstrating its pivotal role in clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Taken together, the TPLATE complex is an early endocytic module representing a unique evolutionary plant adaptation of the canonical eukaryotic pathway for clathrin-mediated endocytosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Roots hairs are cylindrical extensions of root epidermal cells that are important for acquisition of nutrients, microbe interactions, and plant anchorage. The molecular mechanisms involved in the specification, differentiation, and physiology of root hairs in Arabidopsis are reviewed here. Root hair specification in Arabidopsis is determined by position-dependent signaling and molecular feedback loops causing differential accumulation of a WD-bHLH-Myb transcriptional complex. The initiation of root hairs is dependent on the RHD6 bHLH gene family and auxin to define the site of outgrowth. Root hair elongation relies on polarized cell expansion at the growing tip, which involves multiple integrated processes including cell secretion, endomembrane trafficking, cytoskeletal organization, and cell wall modifications. The study of root hair biology in Arabidopsis has provided a model cell type for insights into many aspects of plant development and cell biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Root hairs are tubular extensions from the root surface that expand by tip growth. This highly focused type of cell expansion, combined with position of root hairs on the surface of the root, makes them ideal cells for microscopic observation. This chapter describes the method that is routinely used in our laboratory for live cell imaging of Arabidopsis root hairs.
No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Optical tweezers allow noninvasive manipulation of subcellular compartments to study their physical interactions and attachments. By measuring (delay of) displacements, (semi-)quantitative force measurements within a living cell can be performed. In this chapter, we provide practical tips for setting up such experiments paying special attention to the technical considerations for integrating optical tweezers into a confocal microscope. Next, we describe some working protocols to trap intracellular structures in plant cells.
No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The actin cytoskeleton is a dynamic but well organized intracellular framework that is essential for proper functioning of eukaryotic cells. Here, we use the actin binding peptide Lifeact to investigate the in vivo actin cytoskeleton dynamics in the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Lifeact-eGFP labelled thick and thin actin bundles and actin filament plaques allowing visualization of actin dynamics. All actin structures in the hyphae were cortically localized. In growing hyphae actin filament cables were axially oriented in the sub-apical region whereas in the extreme apex in growing hyphae, waves of fine F-actin polymerization were observed. Upon growth termination, actin filament plaques appeared in the hyphal tip. The distance between a hyphal tip and the first actin filament plaque correlated strongly with hyphal growth velocity. The actin filament plaques were nearly immobile with average lifetimes exceeding one hour, relatively long when compared to the lifetime of actin patches known in other eukaryotes. Plaque assembly required ∼30 seconds while disassembly was accomplished in ∼10 sec. Remarkably, plaque disassembly was not accompanied with internalization and the formation of endocytic vesicles. These findings suggest that the functions of actin plaques in oomycetes differ from those of actin patches present in other organisms.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Cellular Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Filamentous actin forms characteristic bundles in plant cells that facilitate cytoplasmic streaming. In contrast, networks of actin exhibiting fast turnover are found especially near sites of rapid cell expansion. These networks may serve various functions including delivering and retaining vesicles while preventing penetration of organelles into the area where cell growth occurs thereby allowing fast turnover of vesicles to and from the plasma membrane. Root hairs elongate by polarized growth at their tips and the local accumulation of fine F-actin near the tip has provided valuable insight into the organization of these networks. Here we will sequentially focus on the role of the actin cytoskeleton in root hair tip growth and on how activities of different actin binding proteins in the apical part of growing root hairs contribute to build the fine F-actin configuration that correlates with tip growth.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Current opinion in plant biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Environmental and hormonal signals cause reorganization of microtubule arrays in higher plants, but the mechanisms driving
these transitions have remained elusive. The organization of these arrays is required to direct morphogenesis. We discovered
that microtubule severing by the protein katanin plays a crucial and unexpected role in the reorientation of cortical arrays,
as triggered by blue light. Imaging and genetic experiments revealed that phototropin photoreceptors stimulate katanin-mediated
severing specifically at microtubule intersections, leading to the generation of new microtubules at these locations. We show
how this activity serves as the basis for a mechanism that amplifies microtubules orthogonal to the initial array, thereby
driving array reorientation. Our observations show how severing is used constructively to build a new microtubule array.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exocysts are highly conserved octameric complexes that play an essential role in the tethering of Golgi-derived vesicles to target membranes in eukaryotic organisms. Genes encoding the EXO70 subunit are highly duplicated in plants. Based on expression analyses, we proposed previously that individual EXO70 members may provide the exocyst with functional specificity to regulate cell type- or cargo-specific exocytosis, although direct evidence is not available. Here, we show that, as a gene expressed primarily during tracheary element (TE) development, EXO70A1 regulates vesicle trafficking in TE differentiation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Mutations of EXO70A1 led to aberrant xylem development, producing dwarfed and nearly sterile plants with very low fertility, reduced cell expansion, and decreased water potential and hydraulic transport. Grafting of a mutant shoot onto wild-type rootstock rescued most of these aboveground phenotypes, while grafting of a wild-type shoot to the mutant rootstock did not rescue the short root hair phenotype, consistent with the role of TEs in hydraulic transport from roots to shoots. Histological analyses revealed an altered pattern of secondary cell wall thickening and accumulation of large membrane-bound compartments specifically in developing TEs of the mutant. We thus propose that EXO70A1 functions in vesicle trafficking in TEs to regulate patterned secondary cell wall thickening.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The actin and microtubule cytoskeletons regulate cell shape across phyla, from bacteria to metazoans. In organisms with cell walls, the wall acts as a primary constraint of shape and generation of specific cell shape depends on cytoskeletal organization for wall deposition and/or cell expansion. In higher plants, cortical microtubules help to organize cell wall construction by positioning the delivery of cellulose synthase complexes (CesAs), and guiding their trajectories to orient newly synthesized cellulose microfibrils. The actin cytoskeleton is required for normal distribution of CesAs to the plasma membrane, but more specific roles for actin in cell wall assembly and organization remain largely elusive. We show that the actin cytoskeleton functions to regulate the CesA delivery rate to, and lifetime of CesAs at, the plasma membrane, which affects cellulose production. Furthermore, quantitative image analyses revealed that actin organization affects CesA tracking behavior at the plasma membrane, and that small CesA compartments (SmaCC) were associated with the actin cytoskeleton. By contrast, localized insertion of CesAs adjacent to cortical microtubules was not affected by the actin organization. Hence, both actin and microtubule cytoskeletons play important roles in regulating CesA trafficking, cellulose deposition, and organization of cell wall biogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The exocyst is a protein complex that is essential for polarized secretion in mammals and fungi. Although the exocyst is essential for plant development, its precise function has not been elucidated. We studied the role of exocyst subunit SEC3A in plant development and its subcellular localization. T-DNA insertional mutants were identified and complemented with a SEC3A-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion construct. SEC3A-GFP localization was determined using confocal microscopy. sec3a mutants are defective in the globular to heart stage transition in embryogenesis. SEC3A-GFP has similar cell plate localization to the other plant exocyst subunits. In interphase cells, SEC3A-GFP localizes to the cytoplasm and to the plasma membrane, where it forms immobile, punctate structures with discrete lifetimes of 2-40 s. These puncta are equally distributed over the cell surface of root epidermal cells and tip growing root hairs. The density of puncta does not decrease after growth termination of these cells, but decreases strongly when exocytosis is inhibited by treatment with brefeldin A. SEC3A does not appear to be involved in polarized secretion for cell expansion in tip growing root hairs. The landmark function performed by SEC3 in mammals and yeast is likely to be conserved in plants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The actin and microtubule cytoskeletons regulate cell shape across phyla, from bacteria to metazoans. In organisms with cell walls, the wall acts as a primary constraint of shape, and generation of specific cell shape depends on cytoskeletal organization for wall deposition and/or cell expansion. In higher plants, cortical microtubules help to organize cell wall construction by positioning the delivery of cellulose synthase (CesA) complexes and guiding their trajectories to orient newly synthesized cellulose microfibrils. The actin cytoskeleton is required for normal distribution of CesAs to the plasma membrane, but more specific roles for actin in cell wall assembly and organization remain largely elusive. We show that the actin cytoskeleton functions to regulate the CesA delivery rate to, and lifetime of CesAs at, the plasma membrane, which affects cellulose production. Furthermore, quantitative image analyses revealed that actin organization affects CesA tracking behavior at the plasma membrane and that small CesA compartments were associated with the actin cytoskeleton. By contrast, localized insertion of CesAs adjacent to cortical microtubules was not affected by the actin organization. Hence, both actin and microtubule cytoskeletons play important roles in regulating CesA trafficking, cellulose deposition, and organization of cell wall biogenesis.
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Plant physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The actin cytoskeleton is conserved in all eukaryotes, but its functions vary among different organisms. In oomycetes, the function of the actin cytoskeleton has received relatively little attention. We have performed a bioinformatics study and show that oomycete actin genes fall within a distinct clade that is divergent from plant, fungal and vertebrate actin genes. To obtain a better understanding of the functions of the actin cytoskeleton in hyphal growth of oomycetes, we studied the actin organization in Phytophthora infestans hyphae and the consequences of treatment with the actin depolymerising drug latrunculin B (latB). This revealed that latB treatment causes a concentration dependent inhibition of colony expansion and aberrant hyphal growth. The most obvious aberrations observed upon treatment with 0.1μM latB were increased hyphal branching and irregular tube diameters whereas at higher concentrations latB (0.5 and 1μM) tips of expanding hyphae changed into balloon-like shapes. This aberrant growth correlated with changes in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton. In untreated hyphae, staining with fluorescently tagged phalloidin revealed two populations of actin filaments: long, axially oriented actin filament cables and cortical actin filament plaques. Two hyphal subtypes were recognized, one containing only plaques and the other containing both cables and plaques. In the latter, some hyphae had an apical zone without actin filament plaques. Upon latB treatment, the proportion of hyphae without actin filament cables increased and there were more hyphae with a short apical zone without actin filament plaques. In general, actin filament plaques were more resilient against actin depolymerisation than actin filament cables. Besides disturbing hyphal growth and actin organization, actin depolymerisation also affected the positioning of nuclei. In the presence of latB, the distance between nuclei and the hyphal tip decreased, suggesting that the actin cytoskeleton plays a role in preventing the movement of nuclei towards the hyphal tip.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Fungal Genetics and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since its emergence in Northwest Europe as a pathogen that infects trunks and branches of Aesculus spp. (the horse chestnuts) approximately one decade ago, Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi has rapidly established itself as major threat to these trees. Infected trees exhibit extensive necrosis of phloem and cambium, which can ultimately lead to dieback. The events after host entry leading to extensive necrosis are not well documented. In this work, the histopathology of this interaction is investigated and heat-treatment is explored as method to eradicate bacteria associated with established infections. The early wound-repair responses of A. hippocastanum, both in absence and presence of P. s. pv. aesculi, included cell wall lignification by a distinct layer of phloem and cortex parenchyma cells. The same cells also deposited suberin lamellae later on, suggesting this layer functions in compartmentalizing healthy from disrupted tissues. However, monitoring bacterial ingress, its construction appeared inadequate to constrain pathogen spread. Microscopic evaluation of bacterial dispersal in situ using immunolabelling and GFP-tagging of P. s. pv. aesculi, revealed two discriminative types of bacterial colonization. The forefront of lesions was found to contain densely packed bacteria, while necrotic areas housed bacterial aggregates with scattered individuals embedded in an extracellular matrix of bacterial origin containing alginate. The endophytic localization and ability of P. s. pv aesculi to create a protective matrix render it poorly accessible for control agents. To circumvent this, a method based on selective bacterial lethality at 39 °C was conceived and successfully tested on A. hippocastanum saplings, providing proof of concept for controlling this disease by heat-treatment. This may be applicable for curing other tree cankers, caused by related phytopathogens.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In plant cells, actin filament bundles serve as tracks for myosin-dependent organelle movement and play a role in the organization of the cytoplasm. Although virtually all plant cells contain actin filament bundles, the role of the different actin-bundling proteins remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of the actin-bundling protein villin in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We used Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion lines to generate a double mutant in which VILLIN2 (VLN2) and VLN3 transcripts are truncated. Leaves, stems, siliques, and roots of vln2 vln3 double mutant plants are twisted, which is caused by local differences in cell length. Microscopy analysis of the actin cytoskeleton showed that in these double mutant plants, thin actin filament bundles are more abundant while thick actin filament bundles are virtually absent. In contrast to full-length VLN3, truncated VLN3 lacking the headpiece region does not rescue the phenotype of the vln2 vln3 double mutant. Our results show that villin is involved in the generation of thick actin filament bundles in several cell types and suggest that these bundles are involved in the regulation of coordinated cell expansion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lifeact is a novel probe that labels actin filaments in a wide range of organisms. We compared the localization and reorganization of Lifeact:Venus-labeled actin filaments in Arabidopsis root hairs and root epidermal cells of lines that express different levels of Lifeact: Venus with that of actin filaments labeled with GFP:FABD2, a commonly used probe in plants. Unlike GFP:FABD2, Lifeact:Venus labeled the highly dynamic fine F-actin in the subapical region of tip-growing root hairs. Lifeact:Venus expression at varying levels was not observed to affect plant development. However, at expression levels comparable to those of GFP:FABD2 in a well-characterized marker line, Lifeact:Venus reduced reorganization rates of bundles of actin filaments in root epidermal cells. Reorganization rates of cytoplasmic strands, which reflect the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, were also reduced in these lines. Moreover, in the same line, Lifeact:Venus-decorated actin filaments were more resistant to depolymerization by latrunculin B than those in an equivalent GFP:FABD2-expressing line. In lines where Lifeact: Venus is expressed at lower levels, these effects are less prominent or even absent. We conclude that Lifeact: Venus reduces remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis in a concentration-dependent manner. Since this reduction occurs at expression levels that do not cause defects in plant development, selection of normally growing plants is not sufficient to determine optimal Lifeact expression levels. When correct expression levels of Lifeact have been determined, it is a valuable probe that labels dynamic populations of actin filaments such as fine F-actin, better than FABD2 does.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The actin cytoskeleton is involved in the transport and positioning of Golgi bodies, but the actin-based processes that determine
the positioning and motility behavior of Golgi bodies are not well understood. In this work, we have studied the relationship
between Golgi body motility behavior and actin organization in intercalary growing root epidermal cells during different developmental
stages. We show that in these cells two distinct actin configurations are present, depending on the developmental stage. In
small cells of the early root elongation zone, fine filamentous actin (F-actin) occupies the whole cell, including the cortex.
In larger cells in the late elongation zone that have almost completed cell elongation, actin filament bundles are interspersed
with areas containing this fine F-actin and areas without F-actin. Golgi bodies in areas with the fine F-actin exhibit a non-directional,
wiggling type of motility. Golgi bodies in areas containing actin filament bundles move up to 7 μm s−1. Since the motility of Golgi bodies changes when they enter an area with a different actin configuration, we conclude that
the type of movement depends on the actin organization and not on the individual organelle. Our results show that the positioning
of Golgi bodies depends on the local actin organization.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In eukaryotic cells, the actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletal networks are dynamic structures that organize intracellular processes and facilitate their rapid reorganization. In plant cells, actin filaments (AFs) and MTs are essential for cell growth and morphogenesis. However, dynamic interactions between these two essential components in live cells have not been explored. Here, we use spinning-disc confocal microscopy to dissect interaction and cooperation between cortical AFs and MTs in Arabidopsis thaliana, utilizing fluorescent reporter constructs for both components. Quantitative analyses revealed altered AF dynamics associated with the positions and orientations of cortical MTs. Reorganization and reassembly of the AF array was dependent on the MTs following drug-induced depolymerization, whereby short AFs initially appeared colocalized with MTs, and displayed motility along MTs. We also observed that light-induced reorganization of MTs occurred in concert with changes in AF behavior. Our results indicate dynamic interaction between the cortical actin and MT cytoskeletons in interphase plant cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laser trapping of micron-sized particles can be achieved utilizing the radiation pressure generated by a focused infrared laser beam. Thus, it is theoretically possible to trap and manipulate organelles within the cytoplasm and remodel the architecture of the cytoplasm and membrane systems. Here we describe recent progress, using this under utilized technology, in the manipulation of cytoplasmic strands and organelles in plant cells.
No preview · Article · Dec 2010 · Current opinion in plant biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During exocytosis, Golgi-derived vesicles are tethered to the target plasma membrane by a conserved octameric complex called the exocyst. In contrast to a single gene in yeast and most animals, plants have greatly increased number of EXO70 genes in their genomes, with functions very much unknown. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions were performed on all 23 EXO70 genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) to examine their expression at the organ level. Cell-level expression analyses were performed using transgenic plants carrying β-glucuronidase reporter constructs, showing that EXO70 genes are primarily expressed in potential exocytosis-active cells such as tip-growing and elongating cells, developing xylem elements, and guard cells, whereas no expression was observed in cells of mature organs such as well-developed leaves, stems, sepals, and petals. Six EXO70 genes are expressed in distinct but partially overlapping stages during microspore development and pollen germination. A mutation in one of these genes, EXO70C1 (At5g13150), led to retarded pollen tube growth and compromised male transmission. This study implies that multiplications of EXO70 genes may allow plants to acquire cell type- and/or cargo-specific regulatory machinery for exocytosis.