Research Article

Sustained Microtubule Treadmilling in Arabidopsis Cortical Arrays

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Science  13 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5626, pp. 1715-1718
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083529

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Plant cells create highly structured microtubule arrays at the cell cortex without a central organizing center to anchor the microtubule ends. In vivo imaging of individual microtubules in Arabidopsis plants revealed that new microtubules are initiated at the cell cortex and exhibit dynamics at both ends. Polymerization-biased dynamic instability at one end and slow depolymerization at the other end result in sustained microtubule migration across the cell cortex by a hybrid treadmilling mechanism. This motility causes widespread microtubule repositioning and contributes to changes in array organization through microtubule reorientation and bundling.

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