• Nicotiana tabacum;
  • actin;
  • actin filaments;
  • cold stress;
  • cytoskeleton;
  • microtubules;
  • tobacco cells BY-2;
  • tubulin


Cytoskeletal proteins assemble into dynamic polymers that play many roles in nuclear and cell division, signal transduction, and determination of cell shape and polarity. The distribution and dynamics of microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (AFs) are determined, among other factors, by the location of their nucleation sites. Whereas the sites of microtubule nucleation in plants are known to be located under the plasma membrane and on the nuclear envelope during interphase, there is a striking lack of information about nucleation sites of AFs. In the studies reported herein, low temperature (0 °C) was used to de-polymerize AFs and MTs in tobacco BY-2 (Nicotiana tabacum L.) cells at interphase. The extent of de-polymerization of cytoskeletal filaments in interphase cells during cold treatment and the subcellular distribution of nucleation sites during subsequent recovery at 25 °C were monitored by means of fluorescence microscopy. The results show that AFs re-polymerized rapidly from sites located in the cortical region and on the nuclear envelope, similarly to the initiation sites of MTs. In contrast to MTs, however, complete reconstitution of AFs was preceded by the formation of transient actin structures including actin dots, rods, and filaments with a dotted signal. Immunoblotting of soluble and sedimentable protein fractions showed no changes in the relative amounts of free and membrane-bound actin or tubulin.