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BPP Faculty Discover Mechanism of Cytoplasmic Streaming in Plants

Peremyslov VV, Cole RA, Fowler JE, Dolja VV (2015) Myosin-Powered Membrane Compartment Drives Cytoplasmic Streaming, Cell Expansion and Plant Development. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0139331. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0139331


Using genetic approaches, particle image velocimetry and an inert tracer of cytoplasmic streaming, we have made a mechanistic connection between the motor proteins (myosins XI), cargo transported by these motors (distinct endomembrane compartment defined by membrane-anchored MyoB receptors) and the process of cytoplasmic streaming in plant cells. It is shown that the MyoB compartment in Nicotiana benthamiana is highly dynamic moving with the mean velocity of ~3 μm/sec. In contrast, Golgi, mitochondria, peroxisomes, carrier vesicles and a cytosol flow tracer share distinct velocity profile with mean velocities of 0.6–1.5 μm/sec. Dominant negative inhibition of the myosins XI or MyoB receptors using overexpression of the N. benthamiana myosin cargo-binding domain or MyoB myosin-binding domain, respectively, resulted in velocity reduction for not only the MyoB compartment, but also each of the tested organelles, vesicles and cytoplasmic streaming. Furthermore, the extents of this reduction were similar for each of these compartments suggesting that MyoB compartment plays primary role in cytosol dynamics. Using gene knockout analysis in Arabidopsis thaliana, it is demonstrated that inactivation of MyoB1-4 results in reduced velocity of mitochondria implying slower cytoplasmic streaming. It is also shown that myosins XI and MyoB receptors genetically interact to contribute to cell expansion, plant growth, morphogenesis and proper onset of flowering. These results support a model according to which myosin-dependent, MyoB receptor-mediated transport of a specialized membrane compartment that is conserved in all land plants drives cytoplasmic streaming that carries organelles and vesicles and facilitates cell growth and plant development.