, Volume 218, Issue 2, pp 204–216 | Cite as

The association of peroxisomes with the developing cell plate in dividing onion root cells depends on actin microfilaments and myosin

  • David A. CollingsEmail author
  • John D. I. Harper
  • Kevin C. Vaughn
Original Article


We have investigated changes in the distribution of peroxisomes through the cell cycle in onion (Allium cepa L.) root meristem cells with immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, and in leek (Allium porrum L.) epidermal cells with immunofluorescence and peroxisomal-targeted green fluorescent protein. During interphase and mitosis, peroxisomes distribute randomly throughout the cytoplasm, but beginning late in anaphase, they accumulate at the division plane. Initially, peroxisomes occur within the microtubule phragmoplast in two zones on either side of the developing cell plate. However, as the phragmoplast expands outwards to form an annulus, peroxisomes redistribute into a ring immediately inside the location of the microtubules. Peroxisome aggregation depends on actin microfilaments and myosin. Peroxisomes first accumulate in the division plane prior to the formation of the microtubule phragmoplast, and throughout cytokinesis, always co-localise with microfilaments. Microfilament-disrupting drugs (cytochalasin and latrunculin), and a putative inhibitor of myosin (2,3-butanedione monoxime), inhibit aggregation. We propose that aggregated peroxisomes function in the formation of the cell plate, either by regulating hydrogen peroxide production within the developing cell plate, or by their involvement in recycling of excess membranes from secretory vesicles via the β-oxidation pathway. Differences in aggregation, a phenomenon which occurs in onion, some other monocots and to a lesser extent in tobacco BY-2 suspension cells, but which is not obvious in the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh., may reflect differences within the primary cell walls of these plants.


Actin microfilaments Allium Microtubule Cell plate Peroxisome Phragmoplast 



2,3-butanedione monoxime




endoplasmic reticulum


green fluorescent protein



We thank the following people for discussions and encouragement: Brian Gunning and Geoff Wasteneys (ANU), Peter Ryan and Rosemary White (CSIRO Division of Plant Industry), Robert Mullen (University of Guelph), Dick Trelease (Arizona State University) and Robyn Overall and Jan Marc (Sydney University). We also wish to thank Spencer Whitney and Grant Pearce (ANU) for assistance with the particle bombardment gun, Lynn Libous-Bailey for technical assistance, and Ellie Kable (Electron Microscopy Unit, Sydney University) and Daryl Webb (ANU) for assistance with confocal and two-photon microscopy. D.A.C. acknowledges the receipt of an ARC (Australian Research Council) Research Fellowship and Discovery Grant DP0208806, while J.D.I.H. acknowledges funding from the Farrer Centre at Charles Sturt University. Mention of a trademark, proprietary product or vendor does not constitute an endorsement by the USDA.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Collings
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • John D. I. Harper
    • 3
  • Kevin C. Vaughn
    • 4
  1. 1.Plant Cell Biology Group, Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesSydney UniversityAustralia
  3. 3.Farrer Centre, School of AgricultureCharles Sturt UniversityWagga WaggaAustralia
  4. 4.Southern Weed Science Research UnitUSDA–ARSStonevilleUSA

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