Modelling the role of catastrophe, crossover and katanin-mediated severing in the self-organisation of plant cortical microtubules

Modelling the role of catastrophe, crossover and katanin-mediated severing in the self-organisation of plant cortical microtubules

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Plant cortical microtubules can form ordered arrays through interactions among themselves. When an incident microtubule collides with a barrier microtubule it may entrain if below a certain angle. Else it undergoes collision induced catastrophe (CIC) or crosses over the barrier microtubule. It has been proposed that katanin is necessary to create order by severing these crossover sites. The authors present a three-state computational model using Arabidopsis thaliana data to show how spontaneous catastrophe, the probability of CIC versus crossover, and katanin-mediated severing at the crossover sites affect microtubule ordering. The results of the systematic simulations show that (1), the microtubule order is more sensitive to the catastrophe rate than the rescue rate; (2), at 21°C, peak order is observed at 0.3 CIC and order decreases as CIC increases; and (3) at 0.2 CIC, katanin severing acting uniformly at all crossover sites is able to create order within a biologically reasonable time frame, but at lower CICs this becomes unrealistically fast. This would imply that at lower CIC levels preferential crossover site targeting and severing activity regulators would be required for katanin to bring about order.


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