EB1 reveals mobile microtubule nucleation sites in Arabidopsis.
In plants, it is unclear how dispersed cortical microtubules are nucleated, polarized and organized in the absence of centrosomes. In Arabidopsis thaliana cells, expression of a fusion between the microtubule-end-binding protein AtEB1a and green fluorescent protein (GFP) results in labelling of spindle poles, where minus ends gather. During interphase, AtEB1a-GFP labels the microtubule plus end as a comet, but also marks the minus end as a site from which microtubules can grow and shrink. These minus-end nucleation sites are mobile, explaining how the cortical array can redistribute during the cell cycle and supporting the idea of a flexible centrosome in plants.