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MOR1/MAP215 acts synergistically with katanin to control cell division and anisotropic cell elongation in Arabidopsis

Yu Chen, Xiayan Liu, Wenjing Zhang, Jie Li, Haofeng Liu, Lan Yang, Pei Lei, Hongchang Zhang, Fei Yu

Plant Cell

https://doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koac147

Abstract

The MAP215 family of microtubule (MT) polymerase/nucleation factors and the MT severing enzyme katanin are widely conserved microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) across the plant and animal kingdoms. However, how these two essential MAPs coordinate to regulate plant MT dynamics and development remains unknown. Here, we identified novel hypomorphic alleles of MICROTUBULE ORGANIZATION 1 (MOR1), encoding the Arabidopsis thaliana homolog of MAP215, in genetic screens for mutants oversensitive to the MT-destabilizing drug propyzamide. Live imaging in planta revealed that MOR1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) predominantly tracks the plus-ends of cortical MTs in interphase cells and labels preprophase band, spindle and phragmoplast MT arrays in diving cells. Remarkably, MOR1 and KATANIN 1 (KTN1), the p60 subunit of Arabidopsis katanin, act synergistically to control the proper formation of plant-specific MT arrays, and consequently, cell division and anisotropic cell expansion. Moreover, MOR1 physically interacts with KTN1 and promotes KTN1-mediated severing of cortical MTs. Our work establishes the Arabidopsis MOR1-KTN1 interaction as a central functional node dictating MT dynamics and plant growth and development.