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Mitra, D., Kumari, P., Quegwer, J., Klemm, S., Moeller, B., Poeschl, Y., Pflug, P., Stamm, G., Abel, S. & Bürstenbinder, K. Microtubule-associated protein IQ67 DOMAIN5 regulates interdigitation of leaf pavement cells in Arabidopsis thaliana bioRxiv (2018) DOI: 10.1101/268466
Plant microtubules form a highly dynamic intracellular network with important roles for regulating cell division, cell proliferation and cell morphology. Its organization and dynamics are coordinated by various microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) that integrate environmental and developmental stimuli to fine-tune and adjust cytoskeletal arrays. IQ67 DOMAIN (IQD) proteins recently emerged as a class of plant-specific MAPs with largely unknown functions. Here, using a reverse genetics approach, we characterize Arabidopsis IQD5 in terms of its expression domains, subcellular localization and biological functions. We show that IQD5 is expressed mostly in vegetative tissues, where it localizes to cortical microtubule arrays. Our phenotypic analysis of iqd5 loss-of-function lines reveals functions of IQD5 in pavement cell (PC) shape morphogenesis, as indicated by reduced interdigitation of neighboring cells in the leaf epidermis of iqd5 mutants. Histochemical analysis of cell wall composition further suggests reduced rates of cellulose deposition in anticlinal cell walls, which correlate with reduced asymmetric expansion. Lastly, we provide evidence for IQD5-dependent recruitment of calmodulin calcium sensors to cortical microtubule arrays. Our work thus identifies IQD5 as a novel player in PC shape regulation, and, for the first time, links calcium signaling to developmental processes that regulate multi-polar growth in PCs.