Flowering plants express multiple actin isoforms. Previous studies suggest that individual actin isoforms have specific functions; however, the subcellular localization of actin isoforms in plant cells remains obscure. Here, we transiently expressed and observed major Arabidopsis vegetative actin isoforms, AtACT2 and AtACT7, as fluorescent-fusion proteins. By optimizing the linker sequence between fluorescent protein and actin, we succeeded in observing filaments that contained these expressed actin isoforms fused with green fluorescent protein (GFP) in Arabidopsis protoplasts. Different colored fluorescent proteins fused with AtACT2 and AtACT7 and co-expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana mesophyll cells co-polymerized in a segregated manner along filaments. In epidermal cells, surprisingly, AtACT2 and AtACT7 tended to polymerize into different types of filaments. AtACT2 was incorporated into thinner filaments, whereas AtACT7 was incorporated into thick bundles. We conclude that different actin isoforms are capable of constructing unique filament arrays, depending on the cell type or tissue. Interestingly, staining patterns induced by two indirect actin filament probes, Lifeact and mTalin1, were different between filaments containing AtACT2 and those containing AtACT7. We suggest that filaments containing different actin isoforms bind specific actin-binding proteins in vivo, since the two probes comprise actin-binding domains from different actin-binding proteins.
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