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In plants kinesin-14 motors have been proposed as dynamic cross-linkers between actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. This study shows that OsKCH1, a kinesin-14 from rice, is a non-processive, minus-end-directed motor that transports actin filaments along microtubules.
Plants lack the retrograde motor dynein. Although kinesin-14 from Physcomitrella patens is a minus-end-directed motor, it is not individually processive. But four or more molecules acting together can transport liposomes and may substitute for dynein in plants.
Plant cell organelles interact dynamically, most notably during photosynthesis. A femtosecond laser technology, that creates localized micro-shockwaves, is used to precisely analyse adhesion forces between peroxisomes, mitochondria and chloroplasts.
Asymmetric cell divisions establish the patterning of stomata in maize. Here it is demonstrated that the SCAR/WAVE complex and actin networks are involved in the early polarity establishment of PAN's receptor-like kinases in mother cells before division.
Live-cell imaging and finite-element modelling shows how the plant's cytoskeleton gives shape to trichomes. The actin-related protein (ARP)2/3 complex generates an actin meshwork that directs growth through cell-wall anisotropy and organelle transport control.
The function and mechanism of the kinesin-14 protein family in plants remain largely obscure. Now, two studies suggest a role in long-distance transport, akin to dynein in animals. One shows that clustering of a moss kinesin-14 is required for cargo transport, the other that in rice a kinesin-14 translocates actin filaments along microtubules.