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  1. Abstract Cell divisions are accurately positioned to generate cells of the correct size and shape. In plant cells, the new cell wall is built in the middle of the cell by vesicles trafficked along an antiparallel microtubule and a microfilament array called the phragmoplast. The phragmoplast expands toward a specific location at the cell cortex called the division site, but how it accurately reaches the division site is unclear. We observed microtubule arrays that accumulate at the cell cortex during the telophase transition in maize (Zea mays) leaf epidermal cells. Before the phragmoplast reaches the cell cortex, these cortical-telophase microtubules transiently interact with the division site. Increased microtubule plus end capture and pausing occur when microtubules contact the division site-localized protein TANGLED1 or other closely associated proteins. Microtubule capture and pausing align the cortical microtubules perpendicular to the division site during telophase. Once the phragmoplast reaches the cell cortex, cortical-telophase microtubules are incorporated into the phragmoplast primarily by parallel bundling. The addition of microtubules into the phragmoplast promotes fine-tuning of the positioning at the division site. Our hypothesis is that division site-localized proteins such as TANGLED1 organize cortical microtubules during telophase to mediate phragmoplast positioning at the final division plane. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
  3. The microtubule cytoskeleton serves as a dynamic structural framework for mitosis in eukaryotic cells. TANGLED1 (TAN1) is a microtubule-binding protein that localizes to the division site and mitotic microtubules and plays a critical role in division plane orientation in plants. Here, in vitro experiments demonstrate that TAN1 directly binds microtubules, mediating microtubule zippering or end-on microtubule interactions, depending on their contact angle. Maize tan1 mutant cells improperly position the preprophase band (PPB), which predicts the future division site. However, cell shape–based modeling indicates that PPB positioning defects are likely a consequence of abnormal cell shapes and not due to TAN1 absence. In telophase, colocalization of growing microtubules ends from the phragmoplast with TAN1 at the division site suggests that TAN1 interacts with microtubule tips end-on. Together, our results suggest that TAN1 contributes to microtubule organization to ensure proper division plane orientation.

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