Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 131, Issue 1, pp 5–14 | Cite as

Emerging roles of cortical microtubule–membrane interactions

  • Yoshihisa Oda
JPR Symposium Semi-in-vivo Developmental Biology


Plant cortical microtubules have crucial roles in cell wall development. Cortical microtubules are tightly anchored to the plasma membrane in a highly ordered array, which directs the deposition of cellulose microfibrils by guiding the movement of the cellulose synthase complex. Cortical microtubules also interact with several endomembrane systems to regulate cell wall development and other cellular events. Recent studies have identified new factors that mediate interactions between cortical microtubules and endomembrane systems including the plasma membrane, endosome, exocytic vesicles, and endoplasmic reticulum. These studies revealed that cortical microtubule-membrane interactions are highly dynamic, with specialized roles in developmental and environmental signaling pathways. A recent reconstructive study identified a novel function of the cortical microtubule-plasma membrane interaction, which acts as a lateral fence that defines plasma membrane domains. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms and functions of cortical microtubule-membrane interactions.


Rho-related GTPases from plants (ROP) IQ67-domain 13 (IQD13) Vesicle tethering (VETH) Microtubule depletion domain 1 (MIDD1) Cellulose synthase-microtubule uncoupling (CMU) Kinesin 



Cortical division zone


Cellulose synthase complex


Cortical microtubule


Microtubule-associated protein


Microtubule-associated cellulose synthase compartment


Actin microfilament




Phosphatidic acid


Pleckstrin homology


Phospholipase D


Plasma membrane


Plant-specific Rho/Rac GTPase


Small CESA compartment


Trans-Golgi network





This work was supported by grants from MEXT KAKENHI (grant no. 16H01247 to YO) and JSPS KAKENHI (Grant no. 16H06172 to YO).


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Frontier ResearchNational Institute of GeneticsMishimaJapan
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsSOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies)MishimaJapan

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