Gamma-tubulin is associated with a cortical-microtubule-organizing zone in the developing guard cells of Allium cepa L

Planta. 1993;191(3):357-61. doi: 10.1007/BF00195693.


A key event in the differentiation of elliptically shaped guard cells such as those in Allium is the formation of a radial array of cortical microtubules (Mts) which, by controlling the orientation of wall microfibrils, plays an important role in cell shaping. Previous experiments strongly indicated that the array is nucleated in a zone adjacent to the new ventral wall soon after cytokinesis. In order to further clarify the function of this zone, we performed dual immunolocalizations on Allium guard cells with anti-beta-tubulin, to detect Mts, and an antibody to gamma-tubulin, a protein known to be present at Mt-organizing centers in other species and recently identified in plants as well. gamma-Tubulin antibody stained the cortical zone adjacent to the ventral wall, while little or no fluorescence was present elsewhere along the radial Mt array or at other sites in the cell. The antibody also stained the mitotic poles and phragmoplast in guard mother cells, as it does in other material. No staining was seen when the primary antibody was omitted. The results are consistent with nucleation of the radial array at a cortical-Mt-organizing zone next to the ventral wall, and set the stage for more in-depth studies on the spatial and temporal control of Mt formation in differentiating cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Allium / chemistry*
  • Allium / cytology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microtubules / chemistry*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins / analysis*
  • Tubulin / analysis*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Tubulin