The microtubule cytoskeleton does not integrate auxin transport and gravitropism in maize roots

Physiol Plant. 1999 Apr;105(4):729-38. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-3054.1999.105418.x.


The Cholodny-Went hypothesis of gravitropism suggests that the graviresponse is controlled by the distribution of auxin. However, the mechanism of auxin transport during the graviresponse of roots is still unresolved. To determine whether the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton is participating in auxin transport, the cytoskeleton was examined and the movement of 3H-IAA measured in intact and excised taxol, oryzalin, and naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA)-treated roots of Zea mays cv. Merit. Taxol and oryzalin did not inhibit the graviresponse of roots but the auxin transport inhibitor NPA greatly inhibited both auxin transport and graviresponse. NPA had no effect on MT organization in vertical roots, but caused MT reorientation in horizontally placed roots. Regardless of treatment, the organization of MTs in intact roots differed from that in root segments. The MT inhibitors, taxol and oryzalin had opposite effects on the MTs, namely, depolymerization (oryzalin) and stabilization and thickening (taxol), but both treatments caused swelling of the roots. The data indicate that the MT cytoskeleton does not directly interfere with auxin transport or auxin-mediated growth responses in maize roots.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Dinitrobenzenes / pharmacology
  • Gravitropism / drug effects*
  • Herbicides / pharmacology*
  • Indoleacetic Acids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Microtubules / drug effects
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology
  • Phthalimides / pharmacology*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacokinetics*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Plant Roots / physiology*
  • Plant Roots / ultrastructure
  • Sulfanilamides*
  • Zea mays / growth & development
  • Zea mays / physiology
  • Zea mays / ultrastructure


  • Dinitrobenzenes
  • Herbicides
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Phthalimides
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Sulfanilamides
  • alpha-naphthylphthalamic acid
  • oryzalin
  • indoleacetic acid
  • Paclitaxel