Arabidopsis mutants and the network of microtubule-associated functions

Mol Plant. 2008 Nov;1(6):888-98. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssn060. Epub 2008 Oct 3.


In early eukaryotes, the microtubule system was engaged in mitosis, intracellular transport, and flagellum-based motility. In the plant lineage, the evolution of a multicellular body involved the conservation of some core functions, the loss of others, and the elaboration of new microtubule functions associated with the multicellular plant habit. This diversification is reflected by the presence of both conserved (animal/fungi-like) and novel (plant-like) sequences encoding microtubule-related functions in the Arabidopsis genome. The collection of microtubule mutants has grown rapidly over recent years. These mutants present a wide range of phenotypes, consistent with the hypothesis of a functional diversification of the microtubule system. In this review, we focus on mutant analysis and, in particular, discuss double mutant analysis as a valuable tool for pinpointing pathways of gene function. A future challenge will be to define the complete network of genetic and physical interactions of microtubule function in plants. In addition to reviewing recent progress in the functional analysis of the 'MAPome', we present an online database of Arabidopsis mutants impaired in microtubule functions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Genome, Plant / genetics
  • Microtubules / genetics
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Mutation / genetics*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins