Purdue University Graduate School
Arieti-Ruthie.pdf (69.41 MB)

Auxin-Induced Actin Cytoskeleton Rearrangements Require Auxin Resistant 1

Download (69.41 MB)
posted on 2019-08-12, 18:44 authored by Ruth S ArietiRuth S Arieti

The actin cytoskeleton is required for cell expansion and is implicated in cellular responses to the plant growth hormone auxin. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms that coordinate auxin signaling, cytoskeletal remodeling, and cell expansion are poorly understood. Previous studies have examined actin cytoskeleton responses to long-term auxin treatment, but plants respond to auxin over short timeframes, and growth changes within minutes of exposure to the hormone. To correlate actin arrays with degree of cell expansion, we used quantitative imaging tools to establish a baseline of actin organization, as well as of individual filament behaviors in root epidermal cells under control conditions and after treatment with a known inhibitor of root growth, the auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). We found that cell length was highly predictive of actin array in control roots, and that short-term IAA treatment stimulated denser, more longitudinal, and more parallel arrays by inducing filament unbundling within minutes. By demonstrating that actin filaments were more “organized” after a treatment that stopped elongation, we show there is no direct relationship between actin organization and cell expansion and refute the hypothesis that “more organized” actin universally correlates with more rapidly growing root cells. The plasma membrane-bound auxin transporter AUXIN RESISTANT 1 (AUX1) has previously been shown necessary for archetypal short-term root growth inhibition in the presence of IAA. Although AUX1 was not previously suspected of being upstream of cytoskeletal responses to IAA, we used aux1mutants to demonstrate that AUX1 is necessary for the full complement of actin rearrangements in response to auxin, and that cytoplasmic auxin in the form of the membrane permeable auxin 1‑naphthylacetic acid (NAA) is sufficient to stimulate a partial actin response. Together, these results are the first to quantitate actin cytoskeleton response to short-term auxin treatments and demonstrate that AUX1 is necessary for short-term actin remodeling.


This work was supported, in part, by an award from the Office of Science at the US Department of Energy, Physical Biosciences Program, under contract number DE-FG02-09ER15526 to C.J.S.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • PULSe (Life Sciences)

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Christopher J. Staiger

Additional Committee Member 2

Anjali Iyer-Pascuzzi

Additional Committee Member 3

Tesfaye Mengiste

Additional Committee Member 4

Chunhua Zhang