Microtubule involvement in the plant low temperature response
Sproule, Kerry Ann
Cold acclimation is a complex process where plants acquire increased freezing tolerance following exposure to low, non-freezing temperatures. Microtubules are dynamic components of the cytoskeleton that are essential for plant growth and development, and there are multiple lines of evidence indicating microtubules are involved in the acquisition of freezing tolerance. The organization of microtubules (MTs) was tracked over the course of a cold acclimation period using GFP:TUB6 and fluorescent imaging tools. Experiments found that MTs undergo incomplete, transient disassembly following exposure to acclimating temperatures, which is accompanied by intranuclear tubulin accumulation and followed by MT reassembly. The importance of the observed changes to MT organization was examined with MT disrupting chemicals that caused reduced MT dynamics or induced transient MT disassembly similar to that of cold acclimation. Results of these experiments suggest that MT reorganization is important for cold acclimation, but the disassembly and reassembly do not directly control cold acclimation.MT binding proteins are likely to play a key role in the low temperature response because they control MT activity and organization, participate in low temperature signal transduction pathways, and mediate interactions between various elements of this pathway. By employing a number of proteomics techniques we were able to identify 96 tubulin-binding proteins from untreated and short term cold acclimated Arabidopsis plants. Proteins both known to and predicted to bind to MTs and unexpected MT binding proteins were identified. The identified tubulin binding proteins have a range of cellular functions, including RNA transport and protein translation, stress responses, and functions related to various metabolic pathways, and cell growth and organization. Exposure to low temperatures affected the binding of some of these proteins to MTs with the identified tubulin binding proteins potentially involved in the cold acclimation process and stress response through a number of possible pathways.This study represents the first live cell imaging of MT reorganization in response to low temperatures and the first time microtubule binding proteins from whole plant protein extracts were identified using 1D gel LC-MS/MS analysis.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorBonham-Smith, Peta C.; Parkin, Isobel A. P.
CommitteeFowke, Larry C.; Fobert, Pierre R.
green fluorescent protein