Biology ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 12-12-2018


Asymmetric cell division (ACD) is important for cell fate and tissue patterning. Many aspects of ACD in plants, however, are still unclear. The process of ACD can be broadly broken down into three phases: (1) cell polarization, (2) division plane establishment and maintenance, and (3) cell division and cytokinesis. Stomatal development in maize has proven to be a useful model for understanding the ACD mechanism. Previous studies have identified several proteins important for all three phases of ACD. Actin is important in each of the phases of ACD, suggesting an actin motor such as myosin may also be important for ACD. Opaque1 (O1) was previously identified as a gene encoding a maize myosin XI important for protein body localization in seeds (G. Wang et al., 2012). The role of O1 in ACD in maize stomata was investigated. Asymmetric stomata divisions were abnormal in o1 mutants; however asymmetrically dividing cells in o1 mutants polarize normally. This suggests O1 is required for ACD but may not be important for cell polarization. Multiple defects in microtubule-based cell division structures, which are important for division plane establishment and cytokinesis, were observed in the o1 mutant. O1 localizes to a plant-specific cell division structure, the phragmoplast, in asymmetrically and symmetrically dividing cells. Together this data suggest that O1 plays multiple roles in asymmetrically dividing cells.





Document Type


Degree Name

Developmental Biology

Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

Donald Natvig

Second Committee Member

Cristina Takacs-Vesbach

Third Committee Member

Christopher Johnston

Included in

Biology Commons