Live Cell Imaging of Microtubule Cytoskeleton and Micromechanical Manipulation of the Arabidopsis Shoot Apical Meristem

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Understanding cell and tissue level regulation of growth and morphogenesis has been at the forefront of biological research for many decades. Advances in molecular and imaging technologies allowed us to gain insights into how biochemical signals influence morphogenetic events. However, it is increasingly evident that apart from biochemical signals, mechanical cues also impact several aspects of cell and tissue growth. The Arabidopsis shoot apical meristem (SAM) is a dome-shaped structure responsible for the generation of all aboveground organs. The organization of the cortical microtubule cytoskeleton that mediates apoplastic cellulose deposition in plant cells is spatially distinct. Visualization and quantitative assessment of patterns of cortical microtubules are necessary for understanding the biophysical nature of cells at the SAM, as cellulose is the stiffest component of the plant cell wall. The stereotypical form of cortical microtubule organization is also a consequence of tissue-wide physical forces existing at the SAM. Perturbation of these physical forces and subsequent monitoring of cortical microtubule organization allows for the identification of candidate proteins involved in mediating mechano-perception and transduction. Here we describe a protocol that helps investigate such processes.