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Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Department of Biology
The presence of a cell wall means that plant cells require great coordination in their growth because of their inability to move relative to each other. In order to coordinate cell growth, plants have a variety of ways to communicate cell-to-cell, including the plasmodesmata, tiny channels that connect the cytoplasm of neighboring cells. Important developmental proteins travel between cells using the plasmodesmata network. CAPRICE (CPC) is a signaling protein in the root epidermis that travels between atrichoblast (non-hair) and trichoblast (hair) cells using the plasmodesmata. The radially swollen 6 (rsw6) mutant is a microtubule organization mutant that is believed to have reduced cell-to-cell communication, based on previous work involving the microinjection of fluorescent tracers. In this experiment, confocal microscopy was conducted in order to compare the distribution of CPC:GFP in rsw6 and wild-type plants as a way of investigating the intercellular movement of naturally occurring proteins in this mutant. A pavement cell analysis was also performed to compare the amount of cell convolution between rsw6 and wild-type plants using perimeter-to-area ratios. The pavement cell analysis was also expected to be a measure of cell-to-cell movement of signaling proteins, as intercellular coordination is needed for the formation of pavement cells. It was determined that the cell-to-cell movement of naturally occurring signaling protein was not affected in the rsw6 mutant in either experiment. The most likely explanation for the difference between these results and the previous microinjection study is that endogenous signaling proteins generally have an intercellular movement domain that could override a general reduction in cell-to-cell transport through targeted protein trafficking.
Schulte, Lauren Michelle, "Microtubule organization and cell-to-cell communication in Arabidopsis thaliana" (2014). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 475.