Biology open

EB1 contributes to microtubule bundling and organization, along with root growth, in Arabidopsis thaliana.

PMID 29945874


Microtubules are involved in plant development and adaptation to their environment, but the sustaining molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Microtubule-end-binding 1 (EB1) proteins participate in directional root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana However, a connection to the underlying microtubule array has not been established yet. We show here that EB1 proteins contribute to the organization of cortical microtubules in growing epidermal plant cells, without significant modulation of microtubule dynamics. Using super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy and an original quantification approach, we also demonstrate a significant reduction of apparent microtubule bundling in cytoplasmic-EB1-deficient plants, suggesting a function for EB1 in the interaction between adjacent microtubules. Furthermore, we observed root growth defects in EB1-deficient plants, which are not related to cell division impairment. Altogether, our results support a role for EB1 proteins in root development, in part by maintaining the organization of cortical microtubules.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.