Introduction

Microtubules (MTs) participate in a number of essential processes in plant cells, including cell division, cell morphogenesis, and cell-wall formation. The organization and dynamics of MTs must be tightly controlled in order to efficiently carry out these processes. This depends largely on the activity of MT-associated proteins (MAPs). In the past decade, several plant MAPs have been identified, some of which have no apparent equivalent in animal, protist, or fungal systems. The specific roles in the organization and dynamics of the four plant MT arrays is becoming clearer for many of the plant MAPs. In addition to the structural MAPs, numerous other proteins bind to MTs in plant cells. These proteins are predicted to use MTs as a matrix to transiently position themselves in close proximity with other proteins or to specific regions of the cell, or they may bind to MTs as a means to regulate their own activity. It is estimated that there are hundreds of proteins that interact with MTs at one stage or another during the cell cycle. The importance of MTs in plant growth and development has made the identification and characterization of these MT-binding proteins a research focus for numerous laboratories. Research progress in this area has been enhanced

Plant Proteomics: Technologies, Strategies, and Applications. Edited by G. K. Agrawal and R. Rakwal Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

by technological advances in MS, live cell imaging, and the availability of genomics related resources.

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