Plants have developed finely tuned, cellular mechanisms to respond to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli. In several examples, these responses necessitate rearrangements of the cytoplasm that are coordinated by a network of actin microfilaments and microtubules, dynamic polymers collectively known as the cytoskeleton. This review focuses on five different cellular responses in which the actin cytoskeleton redistributes following extracellular stimulation: pollen tube tip growth and the self-incompatibility response; root hair responses to bacterial nodulation factors; light-mediated plastid positioning; nonhost resistance to fungal attack; and guard cell shape and turgor changes. For each of these systems, there is reasonable knowledge about what signals induce the plant response and the function(s) of the actin rearrangement. This review aims to build beyond a description of cytoskeletal changes and look at specific actin-binding proteins that have been implicated as effectors of each response, as sites of action for second messengers, and as fundamental coordinators of actin dynamics.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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