Plant root hair formation is initiated when specialized elongating root epidermis cells (trichoblasts) assemble distinct domains at the plasma membrane/cell wall cell periphery complexes facing the root surface. These localities show accumulation of expansin and progressively transform into tip-growing root hair apices. Experimentation showed that trichoblasts made devoid of microtubules (MTs) were unaffected in root hair formation, whereas those depleted of F-actin by the G-actin sequestering agent latrunculin B had their root hair formation blocked after the bulge formation stage. In accordance with this, MTs are naturally depleted from early outgrowing bulges in which dense F-actin meshworks accumulate. These F-actin caps remain associated with tips of emerging and growing root hairs. Constitutive expression of the GFP-mouse talin fusion protein in transgenic Arabidopsis, which visualizes all classes of F-actin in a noninvasive mode, allowed in vivo confirmation of the presence of distinct F-actin meshworks within outgrowing bulges and at tips of young root hairs. Profilin accumulates, at both the protein and the mRNA levels, within F-actin-enriched bulges and at tips of emerging hairs. ER-based calreticulin and HDEL proteins also accumulate within outgrowing bulges and remain enriched at tips of emerging hairs. All this suggests that installation of the actin-based tip growth machinery takes place only after expansin-associated bulge formation and requires assembly of profilin-supported dynamic F-actin meshworks.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.