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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. 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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    Cell-division-plane orientation is critical for plant and animal development and growth. TANGLED1 (TAN1) and AUXIN-INDUCED IN ROOT CULTURES 9 (AIR9) are division-site-localized microtubule-binding proteins required for division-plane positioning. The single mutants tan1 and air9 of Arabidopsis thaliana have minor or no noticeable phenotypes, but the tan1 air9 double mutant has synthetic phenotypes including stunted growth, misoriented divisions and aberrant cell-file rotation in the root differentiation zone. These data suggest that TAN1 plays a role in non-dividing cells. To determine whether TAN1 is required in elongating and differentiating cells in the tan1 air9 double mutant, we limited its expression to actively dividing cells using the G2/M-specific promoter of the syntaxin KNOLLE (pKN:TAN1–YFP). Unexpectedly, in addition to rescuing division-plane defects, expression of pKN:TAN1–YFP rescued root growth and cell file rotation defects in the root-differentiation zone in tan1 air9 double mutants. This suggests that defects that occur in the meristematic zone later affect the organization of elongating and differentiating cells.

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  4. Abstract

    Formative asymmetric divisions produce cells with different fates and are critical for development. We show the maize (Zea mays) myosin XI protein, OPAQUE1 (O1), is necessary for asymmetric divisions during maize stomatal development. We analyzed stomatal precursor cells before and during asymmetric division to determine why o1 mutants have abnormal division planes. Cell polarization and nuclear positioning occur normally in the o1 mutant, and the future site of division is correctly specified. The defect in o1 becomes apparent during late cytokinesis, when the phragmoplast forms the nascent cell plate. Initial phragmoplast guidance in o1 is normal; however, as phragmoplast expansion continues o1 phragmoplasts become misguided. To understand how O1 contributes to phragmoplast guidance, we identified O1-interacting proteins. Maize kinesins related to the Arabidopsis thaliana division site markers PHRAGMOPLAST ORIENTING KINESINs (POKs), which are also required for correct phragmoplast guidance, physically interact with O1. We propose that different myosins are important at multiple steps of phragmoplast expansion, and the O1 actin motor and POK-like microtubule motors work together to ensure correct late-stage phragmoplast guidance.

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  5. Abstract

    Proper plant growth and development require spatial coordination of cell divisions. Two unrelated microtubule-binding proteins, TANGLED1 (TAN1) and AUXIN-INDUCED IN ROOT CULTURES9 (AIR9), are together required for normal growth and division plane orientation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The tan1 air9 double mutant has synthetic growth and division plane orientation defects, while single mutants lack obvious defects. Here we show that the division site-localized protein, PHRAGMOPLAST ORIENTING KINESIN1 (POK1), was aberrantly lost from the division site during metaphase and telophase in the tan1 air9 mutant. Since TAN1 and POK1 interact via the first 132 amino acids of TAN1 (TAN11–132), we assessed the localization and function of TAN11–132 in the tan1 air9 double mutant. TAN11–132 rescued tan1 air9 mutant phenotypes and localized to the division site during telophase. However, replacing six amino-acid residues within TAN11–132, which disrupted the POK1–TAN1 interaction in the yeast-two-hybrid system, caused loss of both rescue and division site localization of TAN11–132 in the tan1 air9 mutant. Full-length TAN1 with the same alanine substitutions had defects in phragmoplast guidance and reduced TAN1 and POK1 localization at the division site but rescued most tan1 air9 mutant phenotypes. Together, these data suggest that TAN1 and AIR9 are required for POK1 localization, and yet unknown proteins may stabilize TAN1–POK1 interactions.

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  6. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Building a complex structure such as the cell wall, with many individual parts that need to be assembled correctly from distinct sources within the cell, is a well-orchestrated process. Additional complexity is required to mediate dynamic responses to environmental and developmental cues. Enzymes, sugars, and other cell wall components are constantly and actively transported to and from the plasma membrane during diffuse growth. Cell wall components are transported in vesicles on cytoskeletal tracks composed of microtubules and actin filaments. Many of these components, and additional proteins, vesicles, and lipids are trafficked to and from the cell plate during cytokinesis. In this review, we first discuss how the cytoskeleton is initially organized to add new cell wall material or to build a new cell wall, focusing on similarities during these processes. Next, we discuss how polysaccharides and enzymes that build the cell wall are trafficked to the correct location by motor proteins and through other interactions with the cytoskeleton. Finally, we discuss some of the special features of newly formed cell walls generated during cytokinesis. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    Gene editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 have created unprecedented opportunities for genetic studies in plants and animals. We designed a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) to train introductory biology students in the concepts and implementation of gene editing technology as well as develop their soft skills in data management and scientific communication. We present two versions of the course that can be implemented with twice- weekly meetings over a five-week period. In the remote-learning version, students perform homology searches, design guide RNAs and primers, and learn the principles of molecular cloning. This version is appropriate when access to laboratory equipment or in-person instruction is limited, such as closures that have occurred in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the in-person version, students design guide RNAs, clone CRISPR-Cas9 constructs, and perform genetic transformation of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The highly parallel nature of the CURE makes it possible to target dozens to hundreds of genes, depending on the number of course sections available. Applying this approach in a sensitized mutant background enables focused reverse genetic screens for genetic suppressors or enhancers. The course can be readily adapted to other organisms or projects that employ gene editing. 
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  8. One of the central problems in animal and plant developmental biology is deciphering how chemical and mechanical signals interact within a tissue to produce organs of defined size, shape, and function. Cell walls in plants impose a unique constraint on cell expansion since cells are under turgor pressure and do not move relative to one another. Cell wall extensibility and constantly changing distribution of stress on the wall are mechanical properties that vary between individual cells and contribute to rates of expansion and orientation of cell division. How exactly cell wall mechanical properties influence cell behavior is still largely unknown. To address this problem, a novel, subcellular element computational model of growth of stem cells within the multilayered shoot apical meristem (SAM) of Arabidopsis thaliana is developed and calibrated using experimental data. Novel features of the model include separate, detailed descriptions of cell wall extensibility and mechanical stiffness, deformation of the middle lamella, and increase in cytoplasmic pressure generating internal turgor pressure. The model is used to test novel hypothesized mechanisms of formation of the shape and structure of the growing, multilayeredSAMbased onWUSconcentration of individual cells controlling cell growth rates and layer-dependent anisotropic mechanical properties of subcellular components of individual cells determining anisotropic cell expansion directions. Model simulations also provide a detailed prediction of distribution of stresses in the growing tissue which can be tested in future experiments. 
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