Myosin motors drive cytoplasmic streaming, cell growth and plant development
Van Leeuwenhoek Lecture on BioScience.
Valerian Dolja studied biochemistry and obtained a PhD (1980) in molecular biology at Moscow State University. He holds a DSc in virology (1987, Moscow State University). He had positions at the Department of Virology and the Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology in Moscow. From 1991-1994 he was a senior research scientist at the department of Biology at Texas, A&M University. After that he moved to Oregon State University, where in 2001 he became appointed as professor of Botany & Plant Pathology.
His major interests are:
* Plant cell Biology (endomembrane transport by molecular motors)
* Functional, comparative and evolutionary genomics of viruses
* Plant Biotechnology (RNA viruses as gene expression and RNAi vectors).
He published over 140 articles, holds 2 US patents and was invited as a speaker at many national and international meetings. He received many honors and rewards.
It was long assumed that the exceptionally vigorous intracellular dynamics in plants, the cytoplasmic straming, is powered by myosins. However, neither exact biological role of streaming nor its molecular mechanisms were elucidated until the last decade. using genetic, imaging and biochemical approaches, we have demonstrated critical roles of plant myosins in actin cytoskeleton morphology, polarized and diffuse cell growth and plant development. We have also identified a novel vesicular compartment defined by myosin receptors of MyoB family that appears to be the magic driver of cytoplasmic streaming. Furthermore, we described two novel families of myosin adaptors the most enigmatic of which is targeted to nucleus. A spectrum of plant myosin functions was further expanded by a discovery of myosin's involvement in cell division and cell plate growth made in collaboration with an Israeli team. In this presentation I will discuss a general concept of myosin-powered transport and its contributions to plant biology based on the most recent experimental data available in this field.