To investigate the configuration and function of microtubules (MTs) in tip-growing Medicago truncatula root hairs, we used immunocytochemistry or in vivo decoration by a GFP linked to a MT-binding domain. The two approaches gave similar results and allowed the study of MTs during hair development. Cortical MTs (CMTs) are present in all developmental stages. During the transition from bulge to a tip-growing root hair, endoplasmic MTs (EMTs) appear at the tip of the young hair and remain there until growth arrest. EMTs are a specific feature of tip-growing hairs, forming a three-dimensional array throughout the subapical cytoplasmic dense region. During growth arrest, EMTs, together with the subapical cytoplasmic dense region, progressively disappear, whereas CMTs extend further toward the tip. In full-grown root hairs, CMTs, the only remaining population of MTs, converge at the tip and their density decreases over time. Upon treatment of growing hairs with 1 ?M oryzalin, EMTs disappear, but CMTs remain present. The subapical cytoplasmic dense region becomes very short, the distance nucleus tip increases, growth slows down, and the nucleus still follows the advancing tip, though at a much larger distance. Taxol has no effect on the cytoarchitecture of growing hairs; the subapical cytoplasmic dense region remains intact, the nucleus keeps its distance from the tip, but growth rate drops to the same extent as in hairs treated with 1 ?M oryzalin. The role of EMTs in growing root hairs is discussed.
Sieberer, B. J., Timmers, A. C. J., Lhuissier, F. G. P., & Emons, A. M. C. (2002). Endoplasmic microtubules configure the subapical cytoplasm and are required for fast growth of Medicago truncatula root hairs. Plant Physiology, 130, 977-988. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.004267