Cytoskeletal organization in isolated plant cells under geometry control.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jul 21; 117(29):17399-17408.PN
The cytoskeleton plays a key role in establishing robust cell shape. In animals, it is well established that cell shape can also influence cytoskeletal organization. Cytoskeletal proteins are well conserved between animal and plant kingdoms; nevertheless, because plant cells exhibit major structural differences to animal cells, the question arises whether the plant cytoskeleton also responds to geometrical cues. Recent numerical simulations predicted that a geometry-based rule is sufficient to explain the microtubule (MT) organization observed in cells. Due to their high flexural rigidity and persistence length of the order of a few millimeters, MTs are rigid over cellular dimensions and are thus expected to align along their long axis if constrained in specific geometries. This hypothesis remains to be tested in cellulo Here, we explore the relative contribution of geometry to the final organization of actin and MT cytoskeletons in single plant cells of Arabidopsis thaliana We show that the cytoskeleton aligns with the long axis of the cells. We find that actin organization relies on MTs but not the opposite. We develop a model of self-organizing MTs in three dimensions, which predicts the importance of MT severing, which we confirm experimentally. This work is a first step toward assessing quantitatively how cellular geometry contributes to the control of cytoskeletal organization in living plant cells.