The Arabidopsis Rop2 GTPase Is a Positive Regulator of Both Root Hair Initiation and Tip Growth

  • Jones M
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Root hairs provide a model system for the study of cell polarity. We examined the possibility that one or more members of the distinct plant subfamily of RHO monomeric GTPases, termed Rop, may function as molecular switches regulating root hair growth. Specific Rops are known to control polar growth in pollen tubes. Overexpressing Rop2 (Rop2 OX) resulted in a strong root hair phenotype, whereas overexpressing Rop7 appeared to inhibit root hair tip growth. Overexpressing Rops from other phylogenetic subgroups of Rop did not give a root hair phenotype. We confirmed that Rop2 was expressed throughout hair development. Rop2 OX and constitutively active GTP-bound rop2 (CA-rop2) led to additional and misplaced hairs on the cell surface as well as longer hairs. Furthermore, CA-rop2 depolarized root hair tip growth, whereas Rop2 OX resulted in hairs with multiple tips. Dominant negative GDP-bound Rop2 reduced the number of hair-forming sites and led to shorter and wavy hairs. Green fluorescent protein-Rop2 localized to the future site of hair formation well before swelling formation and to the tip throughout hair development. We conclude that the Arabidopsis Rop2 GTPase acts as a positive regulatory switch in the earliest visible stage in hair development, swelling formation, and in tip growth.

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  • M. A. Jones

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