Brassinosteroids, microtubules and cell elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana. II. Effects of brassinosteroids on microtubules and cell elongation in the bul1 mutant

Planta. 2001 Apr;212(5-6):673-83. doi: 10.1007/s004250000467.


In order to elucidate the involvement of brassinosteroids in the cell elongation process leading to normal plant morphology, indirect immunofluorescence and molecular techniques were use to study the expression of tubulin genes in the bul1-1 dwarf mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh., the characteristics of which are reported in this issue (M. Catterou et al., 2001). Microtubules were studied specifically in the regions of the mutant plant where the elongation zone is suppressed (hypocotyls and petioles), making the reduction in cell elongation evident. Indirect immunofluorescence of alpha-tubulin revealed that very few microtubules were present in mutant cells, resulting in the total lack of the parallel microtubule organization that is typical of elongating cells in the wild type. After brassinosteroid treatment, microtubules reorganized and became correctly oriented, suggesting the involvement of brassinosteroids in microtubule organization. Molecular analyses showed that the microtubule reorganization observed in brassinosteroid-treated bul1-1 plants did not result either from an activation of tubulin gene expression, or from an increase in tubulin content, suggesting that a brassinosteroid-responsive pathway exists which allows microtubule nucleation/organization and cell elongation without activation of tubulin gene expression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Wall / physiology
  • Cholestanones / pharmacology
  • Genes, Plant
  • Hypocotyl / cytology
  • Hypocotyl / physiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Mutation
  • Phytosterols / pharmacology*
  • Plant Epidermis / cytology
  • Plant Epidermis / physiology
  • Plant Growth Regulators / physiology*
  • Plant Leaves / cytology
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Tubulin / genetics
  • Tubulin / physiology


  • Cholestanones
  • Phytosterols
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant Proteins
  • Tubulin
  • homobrassinolide