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Essential role of a kinesin-like protein in Arabidopsis trichome morphogenesis
- Oppenheimer, D.G., Pollock, M.A., Vacik, J., Szymanski, D.B., Ericson, B., Feldmann, K., Marks, M.D.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1997 v.94 no.12 pp. 6261-6266
- Arabidopsis thaliana, structural genes, plant proteins, calmodulin, binding proteins, nucleotide sequences, introns, amino acid sequences, trichomes, morphogenesis, chromosome mapping, loci, alleles, gene expression, messenger RNA
- Little is known about how cell shape is controlled. We are using the morphogenesis of trichomes (plant hairs) on the plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a model to study how cell shape is controlled. Wild-type Arabidopsis trichomes are large, single epidermal cells with a stalk and three or four branches, whereas in zwichel (zwi) mutants the trichomes have a shortened stalk and only two branches. To further understand the role of the ZWI gene in trichome morphogenesis we have cloned the wild-type ZWICHEL (ZWI) gene by T-DNA tagging, and report here that it encodes a member of the kinesin superfamily of microtubule motor proteins. Kinesin proteins transport diverse cellular materials in a directional manner along microtubules. Kinesin-like proteins are characterized by a highly conserved "head" region that comprises the motor domain, and a nonconserved "tail" region that is thought to participate in recognition and binding of the appropriate cargo.