Understanding the Role of the Arp2/3 Complex and its Upstream Regulator in Actin Cytoskeleton Mediated Organization of the Endoplasmic Reticulum in Plant Cells
The Actin Related Protein (ARP) 2/3 complex is a major regulator of the actin cytoskeleton that is implicated in cell morphogenesis in plants. However, a similar role is attributed to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). My research explored the relationship between the two systems by using transgenic plants simultaneously expressing fluorescent proteins highlighting F-actin and ER organization in living cells. A comparison of F-actin organization in cells of wild type Arabidopsis thaliana and mutants with aberrant actin cytoskeleton suggests bundling in the distorted2 mutant but a relatively fine F-actin arrangement in klunker. These differences correlate with ER organization into cisternae, fenestrated sheets and tubules. A model relating ER-organization to the degree of actin bundling in a cell emerges and is supported by drug-induced interference in actin polymerization, altered ionic conditions and temperature. The study adds to the mechanistic understanding of cell morphogenesis in plants.