The role of actin in root hair morphogenesis: studies with lipochito-oligosaccharide as a growth stimulator and cytochalasin as an actin perturbing drug

Authors

  • Deborah D. Miller,

    1. Laboratory of Plant Cytology and Morphology, Wageningen Agricultural University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, and
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    • The first two authors have contributed equally to this work.

  • Norbert C. A. De Ruijter,

    1. Laboratory of Plant Cytology and Morphology, Wageningen Agricultural University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, and
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    • The first two authors have contributed equally to this work.

  • Ton Bisseling,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Wageningen Agricultural University, Dreijenlaan 3, 6703 HA Wageningen, The Netherlands
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  • Anne mie C. Emons

    1. Laboratory of Plant Cytology and Morphology, Wageningen Agricultural University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, and
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*For correspondence (fax +31 31748 5005;
e-mail annemie.emons@algem.pcm.wau.nl ).

Summary

Root hairs develop from bulges on root epidermal cells and elongate by tip growth, in which Golgi vesicles are targeted, released and inserted into the plasma membrane on one side of the cell. We studied the role of actin in vesicle delivery and retention by comparing the actin filament configuration during bulge formation, root hair initiation, sustained tip growth, growth termination, and in full-grown hairs. Lipochito-oligosaccharides (LCOs) were used to interfere with growth (De Ruijteret al. 1998,Plant J.13, 341–350), and cytochalasin D (CD) was used to interfere with actin function. Actin filament bundles lie net-axially in cytoplasmic strands in the root hair tube. In the subapex of growing hairs, these bundles flare out into fine bundles. The apex is devoid of actin filament bundles. This subapical actin filament configuration is not present in full-grown hairs; instead, actin filament bundles loop through the tip. After LCO application, the tips of hairs that are terminating growth swell, and a new outgrowth appears from a site in the swelling. At the start of this outgrowth, net-axial fine bundles of actin filaments reappear, and the tip region of the outgrowth is devoid of actin filament bundles. CD at 1.0 μm, which does not affect cytoplasmic streaming, does not inhibit bulge formation and LCO-induced swelling, but inhibits initiation of polar growth from bulges, elongation of root hairs and LCO-induced outgrowth from swellings. We conclude that elongating net-axial fine bundles of actin filaments, which we call FB-actin, function in polar growth by targeting and releasing Golgi vesicles to the vesicle-rich region, while actin filament bundles looping through the tip impede vesicle retention.

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