The bidirectional relationship between cortical microtubule orientation and cell wall structure has been extensively studied in elongating cells. Nevertheless, the possible interplay between microtubules and cell wall elements in meristematic cells still remains elusive. Herein, the impact of cellulose synthesis inhibition and suppressed cell elongation on cortical microtubule orientation was assessed throughout the developmental zones of Arabidopsis thaliana root apex by whole-mount tubulin immunolabeling and confocal microscopy. Apart from the wild-type, thanatos and pom2-4 mutants of Cellulose SynthaseA3 and Cellulose Synthase Interacting1 , respectively, were studied. Pharmacological and mechanical approaches inhibiting cell expansion were also applied. Cortical microtubules of untreated wild-type roots were predominantly transverse in the meristematic, transition and elongation root zones. Cellulose-deficient mutants, chemical inhibition of cell expansion, or growth in soil resulted in microtubule reorientation in the elongation zone, wherein cell length was significantly decreased. Combinatorial genetic and chemical suppression of cell expansion extended microtubule reorientation to the transition zone. According to the results, transverse cortical microtubule orientation is established in the meristematic root zone, persisting upon inhibition of cell expansion. Microtubule reorientation in the elongation zone could be attributed to conditional suppression of cell elongation. The differential responsiveness of microtubule orientation to genetic and environmental cues is most likely associated with distinct biophysical traits of the cells among each developmental root zone. © 2013 Panteris et al.
Panteris, E., Adamakis, I. D. S., Daras, G., Hatzopoulos, P., & Rigas, S. (2013). Differential responsiveness of cortical microtubule orientation to suppression of cell expansion among the developmental zones of Arabidopsis thaliana root apex. PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0082442