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Keywords:

  • actin;
  • microtubules;
  • cytochalasin;
  • mitosis;
  • plant cells

F-actin and microtubule co-distribution and interaction were studied during anaphase-telophase. Rapid and drastic changes in the cytoskeleton during these particular stages were studied in isolated plant endosperm cells of the blood lily. These wall-free cells can be considered as natural dividing protoplasts. As identified previously, an F-actin cytoskeletal network characterized the plant cortex and formed an elastic cage around the spindle, remaining throughout interphase, mitosis and cytokinesis. Actin was specifically labeled by fluorescent phalloidin and/or monoclonal antibodies. Gold-labeled secondary antibodies were used for ultrastructural observations and silver-enhancement was applied for video-enhanced microscopy. Microtubule and microfilament dynamics and interaction were studied using drug antagonists to actin (cytochalasins B, D) and to tubulin (colchicine). This permitted precise correlations to be made between chromosome movement inhibition and alteration in the actin/tubulin cytoskeleton. During anaphase chromosome migration, the cortical actin network was stretched along the microtubular spindle, while it remained homogeneous when anaphase was inhibited by colchicine. Cytochalasins did not inhibit chromosome movement but altered actin distribution. A new population of actin filaments appeared at the equator in late anaphase before the microtubular phragmoplast was formed and contributed to cell plate formation. Our conclusion is that F-actin-microtubule interaction may contribute to the regulatory mechanism of plant cytokinesis.