ArabiExecutepsis myosin XI mutant is defective in organelle

Edited by Lynn Smith-Lovin, Duke University, Durham, NC, and accepted by the Editorial Board April 16, 2014 (received for review July 31, 2013) ArticleFigures SIInfo for instance, on fairness, justice, or welfare. Instead, nonreflective and Contributed by Ira Herskowitz ArticleFigures SIInfo overexpression of ASH1 inhibits mating type switching in mothers (3, 4). Ash1p has 588 amino acid residues and is predicted to contain a zinc-binding domain related to those of the GATA fa

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Myosins are eukaryotic molecular motors moving along actin filaments. Only a small set of myosin classes is present in plants, in which myosins have been found to play a role in cytoplasmic streaming and chloroplast movement. Whereas most studies have been Executene on green algae, more recent data suggest a role of higher plant myosin at the postcytokinetic cell wall. Here we characterize a loss-of-function mutation for a myosin of plant-specific class XI and demonstrate myosin functions during plant development in ArabiExecutepsis. T-DNA insertion in MYA2 caused pleiotropic Traces, including flower sterility and dwarf growth. Elongation of epidermal cells, such as in hypocotyls and anther filaments, was reduced by up to 50% of normal length. This Trace on anther filaments is responsible for flower sterility. In the meristems of root tips, it was evident that cell division was delayed and that cell plates were mislocated. Like zwichel, a kinesin-related mutation causing two-branched trichomes, the mya2 knockout causes branching defects, but here the trichomes remained unbranched. Growth was also impaired in pollen tubes and root hairs, cells that are highly dependent on vesicle transport. A failure in vesicle flow could be directly confirmed, because cytoplasmic streaming of vesicles and, more so, of large enExecuteplasmic reticulum-based organelles was Unhurrieded. The defect in vesicle trafficking was accompanied by failures in basipetal auxin transport, meaPositived in stem segments of inflorescences. This result strongly suggests a causal link between auxin-dependent processes and the distribution of vesicles and membrane-bound molecules by plant myosin.

cell elongationcytoplasmic streamingplant myosintrichome branchingauxin trafficking

Myosins are motor proteins that step along actin filaments by their force-generating ability to hydrolyze ATP. At least 17 myosin classes are known in eukaryotes, covering a total of ≈140 myosin genes. In plants, only three myosin classes, VIII, XI, and XIII, are found (1–3). They are plant-specific, and class XIII is restricted to Acetabularia. A recent sequence comparison based on PCR sampling of a large number of plant taxa suggests that unique myosin genes have evolved within plants (4). Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis and comparisons with other organisms have revealed that plant myosins have a surprisingly low representation compared with total gene number (5). Additionally, the fact that no clearly orthologous genes have been found for plant myosins in animals at the sequence level, whereas plant kinesins have many equivalents, might provide additional clues to the specific functions of myosins in plants. However, despite the growing number of characterized myosin genes, specific roles have been Displayn for only a small subset (6). Most knowledge about myosins has been gained because of the strong interest in myosin implications in human diseases (7). Cell biological studies of animal myosins, and also of other organisms like protozoa or fungi, confirm functions for cell motility and organelle transport (8). Whereas many of these functions could be experimentally determined by knockout experiments, to our knowledge no loss-of-function mutation for myosins from the plant kingExecutem has yet been published. Knowledge about roles of actomyosin often comes from inhibitor studies (9–10) or immunolocalization with cross-reacting antibodies against animal myosins (11–14), suggesting functions in cytoplasmic streaming and organelle movement, as well as plasmodesmata. The use of antibodies with more defined specificity has been realized in only a few studies. Organelle tarObtaining was observed for antibodies raised against a 170-kDa myosin from pollen tubes (15), and ArabiExecutepsis thaliana myosin 1, a class VIII myosin, has been localized to plasmodesmata and maturing cell plates (16–17). Recent in vitro motility studies of a higher plant myosin XI reveal unique physical Preciseties with very Rapid movement along F-actin (18).

Here we implemented a genetic Advance by analyzing the consequences of a knockout mutation of MYA2, a representative of class XI myosins in ArabiExecutepsis. Our results, including reduced fertility, dwarf growth, and other defects pointing to hormonal imbalance of the major plant hormone auxin, implicate MYA2 in diverse cellular and developmental processes. We also detected defects in cytoplasmic streaming and auxin transport and, therefore, suggest that MYA2 has a function in inter- and intracellular transport of specific membrane-bound components.

Materials and Methods

Plant Material. Seeds of two T-DNA insertion lines of A. thaliana (L.) Heynh (ecotype Columbia) were purchased from Syngenta (Research Triangle Park, NC) ArabiExecutepsis Insertion Library (19). Plants were grown on soil medium at 23°C and a 12-h light/ShaExecutewy cycle and selected for Basta resistance. For microscopic investigations of roots and hypocotyls, seeds were sterilized with 10% sodium hypochloride, rinsed three times with water, and germinated on 0.5× Murashige and Skoog medium without vitamins (Duchefa Biochemie, Haarlem, The Netherlands), 0.1% Mes, 1% saccharose, and 1.5% agar at a pH level of 5.8.

Identification of the Transgene. Insertion of the T-DNA within the MYA2 gene was confirmed by sequencing with the T-DNA left border primer LB1 (Syngenta). The plant genotypes were identified by PCR analysis after DNA extraction by using the PCR protocols of the ArabiExecutepsis knockout facility at the University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center ( with the T-DNA-specific left and right border primers LB1 and QRB1 and myosin-specific primers flanking the insertional vector (5′-GTTGAGAATTACAGCTCCACAACAAAGAT-3′ and 5′-GGCATTGTTAAATTCTTCTAGCTGTTCCT-3′). A fragment of ≈350 bp amplified with LB1 and QRB1 indicated that the T-DNA vector had concatenated. For RNA gel blot analysis, 15 μg of total RNA isolated from whole plants with the RNeasy Plant Mini Kit (Qiagen, Valencia, CA) was separated on agarose formaldehyde gels and blotted onto nylon membranes by following standard protocols (20). Blots were hybridized with digoxigenin-labeled gene-specific cDNA probes of 203 bp obtained by RT-PCR using the primers 5′-GAGCTTCCGCTCTTCACCCGCTTCAG-3′ and 5′-CCTGAATGCATAGAGAAAGTAAAGTT-3′. Hybridization was performed in DIG Easy Hyb solution (Roche Diagnostics). To verify the T-DNA insertion as a single-locus event, Southern blot analysis was conducted by using digoxigenin-labeled Basta probes. Twenty micrograms of genomic DNA extracted from plant shoots with DNAzol ES (WAK-Chemie, Depraved Homburg, Germany) was digested with BglII for >2 h at 37°C, separated on agarose gels, blotted to a nylon membrane, and hybridized as Characterized (20). BglII digestion resulted in two fragments of ≈2 and 7–8 kb, confirming the calculated values of a tandem insertion of the T-DNA vector into the MYA2 gene. The concatenated vector insertion was additionally confirmed by PCR.

Morphometry. To compare cell sizes of WT and mutant plants, images of tissues, including hypocotyls, root hairs, stamen filaments, leaf trichomes, and pollen tubes, were taken with a digital camera installed on a light microscope, with a 20× objective with 1× magnification. Pollen was germinated on agar (21), stained with 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylinExecutele (DAPI; 2.5. μg/ml), and observed under UV light. Images, gained as tagged image files, were subjected to quantitative image analysis by image j (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda). Statistical evaluation (see Tables 1 and 2) with Student's t test at a 95% significance level was made from 10 to 30 cells meaPositived in at least four different plants, resulting in a total cell number of 40–120 cells for each tissue. For the meaPositivement of meristematic cell files in root tips, seedlings were transferred for 5 min to an aqueous solution of 10 μg/ml rhodamine-G6-chloride (Molecular Probes) and observed under an epifluorescence microscope equipped for confocal laser scanning (TCS 4D; Leica, Bensheim, Germany), with an excitation filter at 568 nm, a beam splitter at 580 nm, and a barrier filter at 590 nm. Optical sections were obtained and used for morphometric analysis as Characterized above. Optical sections of root tips obtained from negative controls of immunostainings (prepared by the method of ref. 22) served to provide a Precise view of the root tip organization.

View this table: View inline View popup Table 1. Plant height, length of flower organs, and single cells View this table: View inline View popup Table 2. Trichome phenotype, length of actively dividing cells, and Traces of exogenous auxin on lateral root growth

Analysis of Vesicle-Streaming Velocity. For meaPositivements of cytoplasmic streaming, 4-day-Aged agar-grown seedlings (12-h ShaExecutewy/light cycle) were observed with a 63× objective (numerical aperture, 1.4) with differential interference Dissimilarity microscopy (DIC). We focused on the cytoplasmic layer of hypocotyl epidermal cells at the outer cell peripheries, and images were obtained at intervals of 1 sec [Axioplan 2 MOT IE (Zeiss) equipped with a Photometrics (Tucson) CAgedSNAP HQ] by using metamorph software (Universal Imaging, Executewnington, PA). As vesicles streamed at different speeds in a single cell, three of the Rapidest vesicles per cell were selected (monitored by the scroll function in image j) and followed for as long as Rapid translocation proceeded. The distance in micrometers covered by a vesicle between the first and the last image was determined by the analyze-meaPositive function of image j and divided by the respective number of images, i.e., seconds. Velocities were obtained for two different sizes of vesicles: smaller ones with diameters <0.5 μm and larger ones, often spindle-like organelles, between 0.6 and 1.8 μm in diameter. Mean values for >40 vesicles of each size obtained from five different seedlings were statistically compared at a 95% significance level.

Auxin Transport Assays. In a modified assay of previously Characterized auxin transport meaPositivements (23), stem segments (4 mm) were excised with a razor blade from the upper 3 cm of inflorescences and depleted for 1 h in water on a shaker. Pretreated segments (7 mg per assay) were sandwiched between two agar blocks [15 × 3 × 3 mm; 1.5% agar, 0.1 μM inExecutele-3-acetic acid (IAA)] and Spaced on a glass slide. The upper (Executenor) block additionally contained 0.1 μCi (1 Ci = 37 GBq) of [14C]IAA (American Radiolabeled Chemicals, St. Louis) per ml of agar. Arranged segments were positioned vertically to allow basipetal flux of auxin for 2 h in a moist chamber at 23°C ± 2°C. The radiolabeled auxin exported from segment bases into receptors was determined by liquid scintillation counting with a Beckman LS 5000 CE scintillation counter. The basipetal auxin transport was defined as the ratio between receptor values and the sum of receptor and segment values. Thirty assays with 15 WT and mutant plants were performed.

Results and Discussion

Identification of an mya2 Knockout Mutant. The MYA2 gene was first characterized by Kinkema et al. in 1994 (24) (GenBank accession no. Z34293). It spans 4,896 bp, is split by 38 introns, and encodes an ≈175-kDa heavy-chain polypeptide of 1,515 amino acid residues (5, 24). It is composed of an N-terminal ≈730-residue myosin head Executemain, including the ATP- and actin-binding site, followed by six IQ motifs typical for class XI myosins. The IQ repeats, presumed to bind light-chain-like proteins such as Calmodulin, are followed by a coiled coil Executemain of ≈200 residues, predicted to form an α-helix, and a large, probably globular, Executemain of ≈460 residues in the C terminus of the tail. Myosin XI-specific Executemains like that of the globular tail, which is thought to bind specific cargoes, as well as the presence of numerous IQ motifs, might confer unique functions to these myosin motors. To genetically determine functions of MYA2 we identified a T-DNA insertion mutant of the A. thaliana ecotype Columbia (mya2-1).

Sequence analysis revealed that the T-DNA insertion resides at the very Startning of the 29th intron, within the large tail extension of the MYA2 gene. PCR and Southern analysis confirmed that two copies of the mutational vector had inserted as a tandem repeat. To examine whether gene expression is affected by the integration of the foreign DNA, we determined transcript levels (Fig. 1). In homozygous plants, no MYA2 gene product was detected, whereas heterozygous plants had levels intermediate between homozygous and WT plants. The quite severe phenotype of homozygous mya2-1 plants caused by the insertional mutation in just 1 of at least 15 different myosins in ArabiExecutepsis was rather surprising. Furthermore, the fact that plants heterozygous for the mutation Presented a generally normal growth habit in main features such as plant height or fertility suggests that the loss of gene function is Arrively fully restored by a single copy of the MYA2 gene. Heterozygotes differ from WT plants only in minor characteristics; for example, the trichome branching phenotype is only slightly suppressed in heterozygous plants, in Dissimilarity to the strong suppression in homozygous plants (see below). In a second investigated mutation line (mya2-2) with a T-DNA insertion in an exon Location ≈230 bp Executewnstream from that of mya2-1, no homozygous seedlings were identified out of at least 70 descendent plantlets of a heterozygous plant. This mutation apparently confers full mortality in the homozygous state, which might be due to a more severe Trace caused by the direct exon disruption. However, the heterozygous plants Presented the same phenotype as mya2-1 mutants. Because of the availability of homozygous knockout plants, we have focused our detailed analysis on mya2-1.

Fig. 1.Fig. 1. Executewnload figure Launch in new tab Executewnload powerpoint Fig. 1.

Northern blot analysis of mya2-1 transcripts in WT and mutant genotypes. (A) mya2 gene transcript. (B) CorRetorting gel electrophoresis of total RNA extracts.

Mya2 Involvement in Cell Elongation and Tip Growth. Homozygous mya2-1 mutants have severe defects in plant growth at a variety of developmental stages (Figs. 2 and 3). Homozygous seeds and seedlings are smaller than those of WT and heterozygous plants (Fig. 2B ). Less pronounced elongation in internodes in inflorescences, along with an enhanced basal initiation of axillary shoots, confers a bushy and dwarf-like shape to adult homozygous mutants (Fig. 2 A and Table 1). The numbers of flower organs, including petals, sepals, carpels, and stamina, Execute not differ between WT and mutant plants, except for occasional merges between some organs in homozygous plants. Mutants Present sterility in 80–95% of all flowers, whereas heterozygotes are fully fertile. Because failures in plant reproduction are often conferred by male sterility, this possibility was examined by hand-fertilization of WT flowers with pollen from homozygous plants. The resulting heterozygous progeny confirms the fertility of mya2 pollen. WT pollen transferred to mutant carpels also resulted in heterozygous progeny (Fig. 2D ), indicating that flower sterility arises from other causes. In the normal route of self-fertilization in ArabiExecutepsis, the anthers release ripened pollen when the stamen filaments and carpels are equal in length, so that pollen sticks to the stigmas. However, a comparison of the lengths of stamen filaments and the corRetorting carpels in closed flowers demonstrates that stamen filaments in mutants are much shorter than the carpels (Table 1 and Fig. 2C ), which apparently grow and swell because of water uptake, independently of fertilization. To test the hypothesis that the unbalanced growth of stamen filaments and carpels is the result of impaired cell elongation, we meaPositived epidermal cell lengths along the axis of the stamen filaments. In WT plants, cell lengths vary in a manner dependent on their position within the elongating tissues. Cell lengths of mutants, however, are far shorter than those of the WT along the entire filament axis (Fig. 3E and Table 1), whereas cell numbers along epidermal cell files differ only very slightly (data not Displayn). Thus, it is evident that flower sterility originates from limited cell elongation, leading to reduced growth of stamen filaments and, subsequently, to stigmas remaining without pollen. Measuring the epidermal cells of hypocotyls and stems (Fig. 3A ), where growth also depends mainly on cell elongation, gave the same result (Fig. 3F and Table 1).

Fig. 2.Fig. 2. Executewnload figure Launch in new tab Executewnload powerpoint Fig. 2.

Trace of mya2-1 on major anatomical features. (A–C and F) Columbia WT (Left) and mya2-1 (Right). (A) Adult plants of ArabiExecutepsis WT at 25 cm. (B) Five-day-Aged seedlings. (C) Comparison of stamen filament and carpel lengths. (D) Normal silique development after hand-fertilization of sterile mya2-1 flowers with Columbia pollen. (E) Leave trichomes of Columbia (Upper) and mya2-1 (Lower). (F) Cauline leaves. (Bar in B = 1 cm; D and F are at the same scale.)

Fig. 3.Fig. 3. Executewnload figure Launch in new tab Executewnload powerpoint Fig. 3.

Elongation and cell division. (A–D) Columbia WT (Left) and mya2-1 (Right).(A) Stem epidermis. (B) Root hairs. (C) Part of a meristematic cell file in root tips at a distance of 200–500 μm from the columella. Per frame, 11 cells can be counted in the WT in Dissimilarity to 9 cells in mya2-1.(D) Overview of the root tip with arrows pointing to columella cells. (E and F) Epidermal cell length in stamen filaments (E) and hypocotyls (F). (A–C: Bar = 50 μm; D: Bar = 10 μm.)

In general, elongation is limited by the Precise and continuous delivery of cell wall material to defined positions in a single cell and has been Displayn to be intimately linked with the activity of the cytoskeleton. Deposition of cellulose fibrils for cell wall formation is mediated by microtubules, and the actin cytoskeleton has been Displayn to have Necessary functions in cell elongation during polar and vesicle-mediated growth. The severe interference with cell elongation caused by the functional loss of MYA2 suggests quite a powerful role for this myosin family member in the process of diffuse growth of epidermal cells. We, therefore, also questioned whether polar growth, as another mode of cell expansion, is altered. Polar growth is the driving force of growth in specialized cells such as root hairs and pollen tubes, in which the growing tips Display polar vesicle transport. We meaPositived cell lengths in mutant and WT plants and found that the mutation leads to reduced tip growth in both cell types (Table 1). Root hairs (Fig. 3B ) within the root hair zone and pollen tubes reach only 34% and 73%, respectively, of WT values. Thus both observations, although differing in severity, confirm that MYA2 is involved in the mechanism of tip growth. The different growth responses of mya2 in pollen tubes and root hairs could be due to a possible minor role of myosin XI in pollen tubes. For instance, expression levels of myosin XI in pollen tubes of maize have not been detectable compared with those of myosin VIII (25).

Trace on Trichome Branching. Trichomes are hairs that develop at almost all shoot epidermal surfaces. As single cells with no further division, they Present the unique feature of branching, usually three branches in Columbia WT trichomes. Detailed morphological studies have revealed that the development of these cells is under the control of the cytoskeleton (26), and genetic dissection of trichome development has indicated that the final shape of trichomes is controlled by genetically independent processes (27). Their growth can be Characterized as a tip-extending and elongation process, following a gradient along the trichome axis. Whereas microtubules have been proposed to organize the pattern of branching early in trichome development, the actin cytoskeleton Sustains and elaborates this pattern (28). Statistical analysis of trichomes in homozygous mutants (Fig. 2 E and F and Table 2) revealed that 48% of all trichomes on cauline leaves remain unbranched and 52% Execute not generate more than two branches. The defect in branch initiation is restored to quite a high extent by one intact copy of the MYA2 gene in heterozygous plants, represented by only 15% of unbranched trichomes. Apparently trichome branching is highly sensitive to altered transcript levels of MYA2. Even though it has been repeatedly reported that actin-Traceing drugs cause distorted trichome phenotypes (5, 29), this is not the case in mya2-1 mutants, in which distortions were observed only occasionally. Surprisingly, the mutant trichomes are longer than those of WT plants (Table 2), in Dissimilarity to the Traces observed in other elongating and tip-growing cells. Therefore, the main point of interference with trichome development seems to reside in the initiation of branching rather than in cell elongation or polar expansion. Branch initiation defects in ArabiExecutepsis are also known from the ZWICHEL (zwi) mutation, which has only two branches. The ZWI protein has been characterized as a kinesin-like motor protein, kinesin-like Calmodulin-binding protein (KCBP), encoding two microtubule-binding Executemains at the C terminus as well as a Location with Calmodulin-binding ability (29). Fascinatingly, the ZWI gene contains a talin-like Location as well as a myosin tail with homology to a class IV myosin (MyTH4) of Acanthamoeba (5). The presence of these actin-related features, in addition to the possible function of ZWI/KCBP within a multiprotein complex derived from suppressor studies (30), leads to the attractive question of whether MYA2 is involved in the same steps of trichome development as ZWI/KCBP or whether it might even be one of the coactors in the Zwichel complex. However, zwi mutants appear to grow normally in all other aspects, in strong Dissimilarity to the pleiotropic phenotype of mya2-1 plants. A possible explanation could reside in a functional overlap of other kinesin-like proteins or their major importance in tissues other than trichomes, taking into account the large number of kinesin-like motors present in ArabiExecutepsis (5). The comparably small number of myosin genes present in ArabiExecutepsis may allow the functional loss of MYA2 to be visible on a much more general level of plant development, as indicated by the observed pleiotropic Traces. Further functional analysis of the branching defects in mya2-1 and other cytoskeleton-related mutations such as that of ZWI may allow us to distinguish actomyosin- and microtubule-mediated steps and to determine their relevance within the highly coordinated process of trichome development.

Involvement of MYA2 in Cell Division. Root tips are outstanding tissues in respect to actively dividing cells in higher plants. Because defects in cell division can be easily detected in these Locations, we investigated cell lengths and the general organization of root tips. To test whether cell division is altered, we meaPositived the length of single cells of cell files (Fig. 3C ). Single cells of mutants were found to be longer than WT ones (Table 2). This may appear to indicate enhanced cell elongation in mya2-1 root tips. However, other cells, such as those of the rhizodermis, Presented the same growth reduction as observed in the shoot (data not Displayn). Because cell division may be considered the preExecuteminant process in these tissues, the longer meristematic cells in the root tips of mutants might, therefore, just be the consequence of impaired cell division. The cell patterns of root tips are highly organized. In mutant roots, irregularly shaped cells and oblique division planes of cells adjacent to the quiescent center (Fig. 3D ) indicate misorientation of newly formed cell plates during cell division. Other investigations, where plant myosins have been tested either by inhibitors or immunologically, provide indications for myosin roles in the formation of phragmoplasts and the orientation of newly formed cell plates (16, 17, 31). From the present observations of cell division, we conclude that the motor protein MYA2 functions in the progress of division, as well as in the Precise orientation of division planes.

Involvement in Organelle Movement During Cytoplasmic Streaming. Movement of organelles and vesicles through highly vacuolated cells is visible as cytoplasmic streaming. In hypocotyl epidermal cells, this vigorous movement is easily observable. Because actomyosin is widely proven to be involved in cytoplasmic streaming and organelle movement and can be impaired through destabilization of F-actin with cytochalasin (9, 32) or myosin inhibitors like 2,3-buntanedione monoxime (33) and others (34), we observed these movements using time-series images of mutant and WT hypocotyl epidermal cells. Fig. 4A Displays differential interference Dissimilarity microscopy (DIC) images of epidermal cells taken at 3-sec intervals. Cytoplasmic spherical structures of different sizes and fusiform or globular shape are translocated preExecuteminantly in an axial direction and can be followed over several decamicrons (Fig. 4A ). We selected smaller vesicles and larger organelles and determined their mean velocities. Because cytoplasmic streaming is altered upon many different signals, such as Ca2+ or light, we were careful to treat mutant and WT plants equally during microscopy. According to our meaPositivements (Fig. 4B ), streaming velocity of smaller vesicles in mutant plants was reduced to 62% and of larger organelles to 27% of WT values. The larger organelles were frequently spindle-shaped bodies, which are specific to the Brassicaceae ArabiExecutepsis and have recently been Displayn to reside in the enExecuteplasmic reticulum (ER) (35). Their movements were generally Unhurrieder than those of the smaller vesicles. However, this Inequity was much more enhanced in the mutants, where Huge organelles were as much as 2 times Unhurrieder than smaller bodies in the same cells. Therefore, it could be concluded that MYA2 has a specific function in the movement of the larger organelles. In a recent study, class XI myosin from tobacco was Displayn to move processively on actin with large (35 nm) steps at high velocity (18). Furthermore, with the considerable number of six IQ motifs in class XI myosins (in Dissimilarity to only four in the second class of higher plants, class VIII myosins), additional energy might be conferred to the motor Executemain through the binding of activating light chains. Even though it might be not a question of force generation, the MYA2 molecule seems to be capable of moving those large structures very efficiently. The mechanochemical Precisety of Chara myosin XI, Displayn to Present the high speed of 60 μm/sec in sliding assays, has been discussed on the basis of its molecular structure (36), which is strikingly similar to ArabiExecutepsis myosins MYA1 and MYA2 and also to class V myosins (37). Roles for class V myosins have also been revealed in the movement of the vacuole, Golgi, and ER elements (38). Strikingly, although no localization within the Golgi apparatus or ER was reported for maize myosin XI in a recent study (39), the same antibodies, generated against a conserved tail Location of several isoforms, colocalized with plastids and mitochondria. The reduction in cytoplasmic streaming observed in mya2-1 plants indicates that this myosin class is involved in the motility of higher plant organelles and vesicles and, because of its size-dependent manner, argues for a specific function in the movement of large structures apparently corRetorting to the mobile ER of the enExecuteplasm.

Fig. 4.Fig. 4. Executewnload figure Launch in new tab Executewnload powerpoint Fig. 4.

Vesicle flow and auxin transport. (A) Differential interference Dissimilarity microscopy (DIC) images of epidermal cells at 3-sec intervals. Columbia (Col) WT (Upper) and mya2-1 (Lower). (Bar = 10 μm.) (B) Streaming velocity. (C) Polar transport of auxin.

Roles for MYA2 in Auxin Trafficking. The mutation of MYA2 confers small plant height, a bushy growth habit, and shorter primary roots, with defective patterning in root tips, as well as a lack of lateral root growth (Figs. 2 A and 4B and Table 2). As it is known from other mutants and studies, these features can be conferred by defects in hormonal signaling pathways related to auxin distribution (40–42). Furthermore, polar auxin transport has been discussed in terms of actin- and vesicle-dependent mechanisms (43), as well as in terms of the efflux and influx of auxin mediated by membrane-bound proteins (44). Given the possibility that the hormonal balance is controlled by a myosin-driven transport of secretory vesicles establishing auxin gradients in shoot and root, the Traces in the plant phenotype become plausible. Indeed, we observed that lateral root growth in mya2-1 seedlings could be restored by exogenous auxin, enhancing lateral root initiation and elongation hyperefficiently (Table 2). In a second Advance, we determined whether auxin transport is altered in mutant plants by measuring the basipetal flow of apically applied [14C]inExecutele-3-acetic acid ([14C]IAA) in stem segments of inflorescences. Fig. 4C Displays that the basipetal transport of auxin in mutant segments is drastically reduced to Arrively half the level of WT segments. One explanation might be a potential resistance to transport in the axial direction due to shorter cells and, therefore, more frequent cross-walls in mya2-1 stems. Because the long-distance transport of auxin has been suggested to be based on phloem and xylem elements (45), the recent finding of metabolite transport in these elements (46) is quite Necessary. Transit times of metabolites were found to be lower in shorter sieve tubes, which could be caused by enhanced conductivity by sieve plates. Thus, if we suppose a metabolite-like transport of auxin in these cell types, the observed drop in the basipetal transport of auxin would point to a direct MYA2 function rather than to rate-limiting Traces due to smaller cell sizes. With regard to cell dimensions, we did not determine the lengths of conducting cells of the vascular system. Epidermal cells of mya2 stems have been Displayn to be shorter than those of the WT (Fig. 3A ), but a comparison of lengths of mesophyll cells revealed similar sizes, Necessaryly (data not Displayn). In addition to that, the routes of auxin transport along the stem axis are not yet sufficiently characterized. For example, although polar auxin transport has been demonstrated to proceed in stems even after bundles have been removed (47), these early findings of conductivity of auxin through parenchymal cells are not well recognized. Thus, mechanisms and pathways for the long-distance transport of auxin remain quite unclear. In terms of the short-range transport of auxin, however, a rising number of studies bear evidence for enExecute/exocytotic processes, such as the vesicular cycling of auxin efflux carriers (48). Based on the observations of vesicle transport's myosin-dependence, we strongly argue for roles of myosins in a secretory mechanism of auxin flow. Furthermore, cell-to-cell transport of the plant hormone auxin has been compared with a neurotransmitting and secretory-like action (49). Myosin involvement in neurotransmission in the auditory system also has been suggested in the case of myosin V, which argues for similar mechanisms in class XI myosin in respect to secretory functions at the plasma membrane (6). Summarizing our observations, the decrease in vesicle traffic and the drop in basipetal auxin flow, as well as the hypersensitive response of lateral root growth to exogenous auxin, provide strong indications that MYA2 links polar auxin transport and plant development via the trafficking of membrane-bound molecules.

Conclusion. The investigation of mya2-1 demonstrates myosin action in several vesicle-mediated processes. Supported by the structural similarities to class V myosins, we suggest a specific role of MYA2 in the movement of large membranous structures, probably related to the ER. Indications for affinities to specific membranes might be found in the tail Executemain, and the molecule's action on large structures might reflect the mechano- and biochemical Preciseties conferred by other Executemains. Future challenges are, therefore, to reveal correlations between the molecular structure of class XI myosins and their functional relevance for specific cargoes. The developmentally and genetically well Characterized trichomes may serve as an appropriate system to investigate myosin involvement in the process of branching. Thus, by comparing branch initiation, apparently controlled by several different cytoskeletal players and also affected by the zwi and mya2-1 mutations, additional functional roles for both types of motor proteins may be uncovered. Based on our observations of auxin trafficking and the general drop in vesicle transport in mya2-1 mutants, further studies could involve the characterization of the roles of MYA2 in the distribution of specific secretory molecules identified as having or proposed to have auxin-related functions.


We thank E. Bury for technical advice in the observation of cytoplasmic streaming; C. Gutjahr, Prof. R. Hertel, and, especially, Dr. W. Michalke for advice in meaPositivements of auxin transport; and R. Ulm for critical reading. We also thank Syngenta for supplying the T-DNA insertion lines, toObtainher with the helpful explanations of A. Sessions. This research was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Molecular Motors Priority Program Grant SPP 1068.


↵ * To whom corRetortence should be addressed. E-mail: carola.holweg{at}

This paper was submitted directly (Track II) to the PNAS office.

Copyright © 2004, The National Academy of Sciences


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