Essential role of a kinesin-like protein in Arabidopsis trichome morphogenesis

David G. Oppenheimer, Mary A. Pollock, Joshua Vacik, Daniel B. Szymanski, Brad Ericson, Ken Feldmann, M. David Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


Little is known about how cell shape is controlled. We are using the morphogenesis of trichomes (plant hairs) on the plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a model to study how cell shape is controlled. Wild-type Arabidopsis trichomes are large, single epidermal cells with a stalk and three or four branches, whereas in zwichel (zwi) mutants the trichomes have a shortened stalk and only two branches. To further understand the role of the ZWI gene in trichome morphogenesis we have cloned the wild-type ZWICHEL (ZWI) gene by T-DNA tagging, and report here that it encodes a member of the kinesin superfamily of microtubule motor proteins. Kinesin proteins transport diverse cellular materials in a directional manner along microtubules. Kinesin-like proteins are characterized by a highly conserved 'head' region that comprises the motor domain, and a nonconserved 'tail' region that is thought to participate in recognition and binding of the appropriate cargo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6261-6266
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 10 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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