Arabidopsis thaliana mitogen-activated protein kinase 6 is involved in seed formation and modulation of primary and lateral root development
The proper spatial and temporal expression and localization of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) is essential for developmental and cellular signalling in all eukaryotes. Here, we analysed expression, subcellular localization and function of MPK6 in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana using wild-type plants and three mpk6 knock-out mutant lines. The MPK6 promoter showed two expression maxima in the most apical part of the root meristem and in the root transition zone. This expression pattern was highly consistent with 'no root' and 'short root' phenotypes, as well as with ectopic cell divisions and aberrant cell division planes, resulting in disordered cell files in the roots of these mpk6 knock-out mutants. In dividing root cells, MPK6 was localized on the subcellular level to distinct fine spots in the pre-prophase band and phragmoplast, representing the two most important cytoskeletal structures controlling the cell division plane. By combining subcellular fractionation and microscopic in situ and in vivo co-localization methods, MPK6 was localized to the plasma membrane (PM) and the trans-Golgi network (TGN). In summary, these data suggest that MPK6 localizing to mitotic microtubules, secretory TGN vesicles and the PM is involved in cell division plane control and root development in Arabidopsis.