The microtubule-associated protein MAP18 affects ROP2 GTPase activity during root hair growth

Erfang Kang, Mingzhi Zheng, Yan Zhang, Ming Yuan, Shaul Yalovsky, Lei Zhu, Ying Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Establishment and maintenance of the polar site are important for root hair tip growth. We previously reported that Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) MICROTUBULE-ASSOCIATED PROTEIN18 (MAP18) functions in controlling the direction of pollen tube growth and root hair elongation. Additionally, the Rop GTPase ROP2 was reported as a positive regulator of both root hair initiation and tip growth in Arabidopsis. Both loss of function of ROP2 and knockdown of MAP18 lead to a decrease in root hair length, whereas overexpression of either MAP18 or ROP2 causes multiple tips or a branching hair phenotype. However, it is unclear whether MAP18 and ROP2 coordinately regulate root hair growth. In this study, we demonstrate that MAP18 and ROP2 interact genetically and functionally. MAP18 interacts physically with ROP2 in vitro and in vivo and preferentially binds to the inactive form of the ROP2 protein. MAP18 promotes ROP2 activity during root hair tip growth. Further investigation revealed that MAP18 competes with RhoGTPase GDP DISSOCIATION INHIBITOR1/SUPERCENTIPEDE1 for binding to ROP2, in turn affecting the localization of active ROP2 in the plasma membrane of the root hair tip. These results reveal a novel function of MAP18 in the regulation of ROP2 activation during root hair growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-222
Number of pages21
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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