, Volume 185, Issue 3-4, pp 140-151

Rapid reorganization of microtubular cytoskeleton accompanies early changes in nuclear ploidy and chromatin structure in postmitotic cells of barley leaves infected with powdery mildew

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Post-mitotic epidermal cells of barley leaves were found to contain, in addition to cortical microtubules (CMTs), distinct arrays of endoplasmic microtubules (EMTs). These encircle nuclei and continuously merge into the CMT arrays that underly the plasmalemma. Detailed three-dimensional reconstruction of both types of MTs during fungal infection showed that profound and very rapid MT rearrangements occurred especially in the case of incompatible (resistant) barley-powdery mildew genotype combination. The most early MT responses, followed by their subsequent complete disintegration, were recorded around nuclei. These events might be relevant for the induction of such nuclear processes as onset of DNA synthesis and nuclear chromatin condensation. Observed pattern of early infection events, as well as less prominent responses in the case of compatible (susceptible) barley-powdery mildew genotype combination, both findings suggest that rapid reorganization of the MT cytoskeleton could be involved in recognition of the fungus by host cells and in the initiation of resistance responses in barley leaves. We hypothesize that the integrity and dynamics of the MT cytoskeleton, especially of its perinuclear part, might participate in control mechanisms involved in activation of resistance genes.