Interaction of antiparallel microtubules in the phragmoplast is mediated by the microtubule-associated protein MAP65-3 in Arabidopsis

Chin Min Kimmy Ho, Takashi Hotta, Fengli Guo, Robert Roberson, Yuh Ru Julie Lee, Bo Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


In plant cells, microtubules (MTs) in the cytokinetic apparatus phragmoplast exhibit an antiparallel array and transport Golgi-derived vesicles toward MT plus ends located at or near the division site. By transmission electron microscopy, we observed that certain antiparallel phragmoplast MTs overlapped and were bridged by electron-dense materials in Arabidopsis thaliana. Robust MT polymerization, reported by fluorescently tagged End Binding1c (EB1c), took place in the phragmoplast midline. The engagement of antiparallel MTs in the central spindle and phragmoplast was largely abolished in mutant cells lacking the MT-associated protein, MAP65-3. We found that endogenous MAP65-3 was selectively detected on the middle segments of the central spindle MTs at late anaphase. When MTs exhibited a bipolar appearance with their plus ends placed in the middle, MAP65-3 exclusively decorated the phragmoplast midline. A bacterially expressed MAP65-3 protein was able to establish the interdigitation of MTs in vitro. MAP65-3 interacted with antiparallel microtubules before motor Kinesin-12 did during the establishment of the phragmoplast MT array. Thus, MAP65-3 selectively crosslinked interdigitating MTs (IMTs) to allow antiparallel MTs to be closely engaged in the phragmoplast. Although the presence of IMTs was not essential for vesicle trafficking, they were required for the phragmoplast-specific motors Kinesin-12 and Phragmoplast-Associated Kinesin-Related Protein2 to interact with MT plus ends. In conclusion, we suggest that the phragmoplast contains IMTs and highly dynamic noninterdigitating MTs, which work in concert to bring about cytokinesis in plant cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2909-2923
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Interaction of antiparallel microtubules in the phragmoplast is mediated by the microtubule-associated protein MAP65-3 in Arabidopsis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this