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  1. Abstract

    ATPase family AAA domain–containing 3 (ATAD3) proteins are unique mitochondrial proteins that arose deep in the eukaryotic lineage but that are surprisingly absent in Fungi and Amoebozoa. These ∼600-amino acid proteins are anchored in the inner mitochondrial membrane and are essential in metazoans and Arabidopsis thaliana. ATAD3s comprise a C-terminal ATPases Associated with a variety of cellular Activities (AAA+) matrix domain and an ATAD3_N domain, which is located primarily in the inner membrane space but potentially extends to the cytosol to interact with the ER. Sequence and structural alignments indicate that ATAD3 proteins are most similar to classic chaperone unfoldases in the AAA+ family, suggesting that they operate in mitochondrial protein quality control. A. thaliana has four ATAD3 genes in two distinct clades that appear first in the seed plants, and both clades are essential for viability. The four genes are generally coordinately expressed, and transcripts are highest in growing apices and imbibed seeds. Plants with disrupted ATAD3 have reduced growth, aberrant mitochondrial morphology, diffuse nucleoids and reduced oxidative phosphorylation complex I. These and other pleiotropic phenotypes are also observed in ATAD3 mutants in metazoans. Here, we discuss the distribution of ATAD3 proteins as they have evolved in the plant kingdom, their unique structure, what we know about their function in plants and the challenges in determining their essential roles in mitochondria.

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  2. Cellulose Synthase-Like D (CSLD) proteins, important for tip growth and cell division, are known to generate β-1,4-glucan. However, whether they are propelled in the membrane as the glucan chains they produce assemble into microfibrils is unknown. To address this, we endogenously tagged all eight CSLDs in Physcomitrium patens and discovered that they all localize to the apex of tip-growing cells and to the cell plate during cytokinesis. Actin is required to target CSLD to cell tips concomitant with cell expansion, but not to cell plates, which depend on actin and CSLD for structural support. Like Cellulose Synthase (CESA), CSLD requires catalytic activity to move in the plasma membrane. We discovered that CSLD moves significantly faster, with shorter duration and less linear trajectories than CESA. In contrast to CESA, CSLD movement was insensitive to the cellulose synthesis inhibitor isoxaben, suggesting that CSLD and CESA function within different complexes possibly producing structurally distinct cellulose microfibrils.

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  3. Abstract

    Until recently, precise genome editing has been limited to a few organisms. The ability of Cas9 to generate double stranded DNA breaks at specific genomic sites has greatly expanded molecular toolkits in many organisms and cell types. Before CRISPR‐Cas9 mediated genome editing,P. patenswas unique among plants in its ability to integrate DNA via homologous recombination. However, selection for homologous recombination events was required to obtain edited plants, limiting the types of editing that were possible. Now with CRISPR‐Cas9, molecular manipulations inP. patenshave greatly expanded. This protocol describes a method to generate a variety of different genome edits. The protocol describes a streamlined method to generate the Cas9/sgRNA expression constructs, design homology templates, transform, and quickly genotype plants. © 2023 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

    Basic Protocol 1: Constructing the Cas9/sgRNA transient expression vector

    Alternate Protocol 1: Shortcut to generating single and pooled Cas9/sgRNA expression vectors

    Basic Protocol 2: Designing the oligonucleotide‐based homology‐directed repair (HDR) template

    Alternate Protocol 2: Designing the plasmid‐based HDR template

    Basic Protocol 3: Inducing genome editing by transforming CRISPR vector intoP. patensprotoplasts

    Basic Protocol 4: Identifying edited plants.

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  4. Abstract Coat Protein complex II (COPII), a coat protein complex that forms vesicles on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mediates trafficking to the Golgi. While metazoans have few genes encoding each COPII component, plants have expanded these gene families, leading to the hypothesis that plant COPII has functionally diversified. In the moss Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens, the Sec23/24 gene families are each composed of seven genes. Silencing Sec23/24 revealed isoform-specific contributions to polarized growth, with the closely related Sec23D/E and Sec24C/D essential for protonemal development. Focusing on Sec23, we discovered that Sec23D/E mediate ER-to Golgi transport and are essential for tip growth, with Sec23D localizing to presumptive ER exit sites. In contrast, Sec23A, B, C, F, and G are dispensable and do not quantitatively affect ER-to-Golgi trafficking. However, Δsec23abcfg plants exhibited reduced secretion of plasma membrane cargo. Of the four highly expressed protonemal Sec23 genes, Sec23F/G are members of a divergent Sec23 clade specifically retained in land plants. Notably, Sec23G accumulates on ER-associated foci that are significantly larger, do not overlap with, and are independent of Sec23D. While Sec23D/E form ER exit sites and function as bona fide COPII components essential for tip-growing protonemata, Sec23G and the closely related Sec23F have likely functionally diversified, forming separate and independent ER exit sites and participating in Golgi-independent trafficking pathways. 
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  5. Microalgae within the Scenedesmaceae are often distinguished by spines, bristles, and other wall characteristics. We examined the dynamic production and chemical nature of bristles extruded from the poles ofTetradesmus deserticolapreviously isolated from microbiotic crust. Rapidly growing cells in a liquid growth medium were established in polydimethylsiloxane microfluidic chambers specially designed to maintain aerobic conditions over time within a chamber 6–12 μm deep. This geometry enabled in‐focus imaging of single cells over long periods. Differential interference contrast (DIC) imaging revealed that after multiple fission of mother cells, the newly released, lemon‐shaped daughter cells began extruding bristles from each pole. In some instances, the bristles became stuck to either the glass floor or polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) walls of the chamber, and the force by which the new bristle was extruded was sufficient to propel the cells across the field of view at ~1.2 μm · h−1. Confocal fluorescence and DIC imaging of cells stained with pontamine fast scarlet and calcofluor, and treated with proteinase K, suggested that bristles are proteinaceous and may also host carbohydrate modifications. The polar bristles extruded by this desert‐derivedT. deserticolamay simply be relics of bristles produced by an aquatic ancestor for flotation or predator deterrence. But, their tendency to attach to glass (silicate) and/or PDMS surfaces suggests a potential role in tethering cells in place or binding soil particles.T. deserticolais closely related toT. obliquus, which is of interest for biofuels development; extruded bristles inT. deserticolamay offer tethers for industrial use of these stress‐tolerant algae.

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  6. Coordination between actin and microtubules is important for numerous cellular processes in diverse eukaryotes. In plants, tip-growing cells require actin for cell expansion and microtubules for orientation of cell expansion, but how the two cytoskeletons are linked is an open question. In tip-growing cells of the moss Physcomitrella patens , we show that an actin cluster near the cell apex dictates the direction of rapid cell expansion. Formation of this structure depends on the convergence of microtubules near the cell tip. We discovered that microtubule convergence requires class VIII myosin function, and actin is necessary for myosin VIII–mediated focusing of microtubules. The loss of myosin VIII function affects both networks, indicating functional connections among the three cytoskeletal components. Our data suggest that microtubules direct localization of formins, actin nucleation factors, that generate actin filaments further focusing microtubules, thereby establishing a positive feedback loop ensuring that actin polymerization and cell expansion occur at a defined site resulting in persistent polarized growth. 
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