MAP65-3 microtubule-associated protein is essential for nematode-induced giant cell ontogenesis in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell. 2008 Feb;20(2):423-37. doi: 10.1105/tpc.107.057422. Epub 2008 Feb 8.


The infection of plants by obligate parasitic nematodes constitutes an interesting model for investigating plant cytoskeleton functions. Root knot nematodes have evolved the ability to manipulate host functions to their own advantage by redifferentiating root cells into multinucleate and hypertrophied feeding cells. These giant cells result from repeated rounds of karyokinesis without cell division. Detailed functional analyses demonstrated that Arabidopsis thaliana Microtubule-Associated Protein65-3 (MAP65-3) was essential for giant cell ontogenesis and that cytokinesis was initiated but not completed in giant cells. In developing giant cells, MAP65-3 was associated with a novel kind of cell plate-the giant cell mini cell plate-that separates daughter nuclei. In the absence of functional MAP65-3, giant cells developed but failed to fully differentiate and were eventually destroyed. These defects in giant cells impaired the maturation of nematode larvae. Thus, MAP65-3 is essential for giant cell development during root knot nematode infection. Subcellular localization of MAP65-3 and analysis of microtubule organization in the dyc283 T-DNA map65-3 mutant demonstrated that MAP65-3 played a critical role in organizing the mitotic microtubule array during both early and late mitosis in all plant organs. Here, we propose a model for the role of MAP65-3 in giant cell ontogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / parasitology
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cytokinesis / genetics
  • Cytokinesis / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Giant Cells / metabolism*
  • Giant Cells / parasitology
  • Giant Cells / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nematoda / growth & development*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • MAP65-3 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins