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Cell motility and the cytoskeleton

Microtubules restrict plastid sedimentation in protonemata of the moss Ceratodon.


PMID 7859298

Abstract

Apical cells of protonemata of the moss Ceratodon purpureus are unusual among plant cells with sedimentation in that only some amyloplasts sediment and these do not fall completely to the bottom of vertical cells. To determine whether the cytoskeleton restricts plastid sedimentation, the effects of amiprophos-methyl (APM) and cytochalasin D (CD) on plastid position were quantified. APM treatments of 30-60 min increased the plastid sedimentation that is normally seen along the length of untreated or control cells. Longer APM treatments often resulted in more dramatic plastid sedimentation, and in some cases almost all plastids sedimented to the lowermost point in the cell. In contrast, the microfilament inhibitor CD did not affect longitudinal plastid sedimentation compared to untreated cells, although it did disturb or eliminate plastid zonation in the tip. These data suggest that microtubules restrict the sedimentation of plastids along the length of the cell and that microtubules are load-bearing for all the plastids in the apical cell. This demonstrates the importance of the cytoskeleton in maintaining organelle position and cell organization against the force of gravity.

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