Class XI myosins are required for development, cell expansion, and F-actin organization in Arabidopsis
The actomyosin system is conserved throughout eukaryotes. Although F-actin is essential for cell growth and plant development, roles of the associated myosins are poorly understood. Using multiple gene knockouts in Arabidopsis thaliana, we investigated functional profiles of five class XI myosins, XI-K, XI-1, XI-2, XI-B, and XI-I. Plants lacking three myosins XI showed stunted growth and delayed flowering, whereas elimination of four myosins further exacerbated these defects. Loss of myosins led to decreased leaf cell expansion, with the most severe defects observed in the larger leaf cells. Root hair length in myosin-deficient plants was reduced 10-fold, with quadruple knockouts showing morphological abnormalities. It was also found that trafficking of Golgi and peroxisomes was entirely myosin dependent. Surprisingly, myosins were required for proper organization of F-actin and the associated endoplasmic reticulum networks, revealing a novel, architectural function of the class XI myosins. These results establish critical roles of myosin-driven transport and F-actin organization during polarized and diffuse cell growth and indicate that myosins are key factors in plant growth and development.