The Effects of 1-butanol on Cellulose Synthase Dynamics and Cellulose Production in Arabidopsis

Open Access
Hu, Yuhan
Area of Honors:
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Ying Gu, Thesis Supervisor
  • Teh Hui Kao, Honors Advisor
  • Wendy Hanna Rose, Faculty Reader
  • Butanol
  • Cellulose Synthase
The cellulose synthase (CESA) complex is responsible for the production of cellulose, a potential energy resource for the future. The cellulose microfibril-microtubule alignment hypothesis suggests that cellulose synthase-interactive protein 1 (CSI1) is postulated to be a link between the CESA complex and cortical microtubules. 1-butanol, with the known effect of dissociating cortical microtubules from the plasma membrane by inhibition of phospholipase D (PLD), was applied to distort the cortical microtubule organization. The Arabidopsis seedling morphology was examined upon 1-butanol treatment and reduction in root and hypocotyl elongation rates were observed. Then Arabidopsis seedlings with florescence protein labeled cellulose synthase complexes, CSI1, and tubulin subunits were treated with 1-butanol and observed with confocal microscopy. Measurements suggest that the velocity of both the CESA complex and CSI1 was decreased probably due to the detachment of cortical microtubules. Consistent with the reduction of CESA velocity, the cellulose content was also reduced in Arabidopsis dark-grown hypocotyls upon 1-butanol treatment. These results suggest that the association of cortical microtubules to the plasma membrane is important to maintain the proper motility of the CESA complex as well as CSI1. Overall, the broader interest of this experiment is in the analysis of the relationship between CESA complex, CSI1, and cortical microtubules on the primary cell wall cellulose synthesis in plants. The study of detailed mechanisms of the cellulose synthesis process is closely related to the current world popular issue, the development of alternative energy. With the ability of II genetically manipulating the cellulose synthesis process, the sustainable plant bio-fuel will be more feasible in the future.