The Arabidopsis MAP65s are a protein family with similarity to the microtubule-associated proteins PRC1/Ase1p that accumulate in the spindle midzone during late anaphase in mammals and yeast, respectively. Here we investigate the molecular and functional properties of AtMAP65-5 and improve our understanding of AtMAP65-1 properties. We demonstrate that, in vitro, both proteins promote the formation of a planar network of antiparallel microtubules. In vivo, we show that AtMAP65-5 selectively binds the preprophase band and the prophase spindle microtubule during prophase, whereas AtMAP65-1-GFP selectively binds the preprophase band but does not accumulate at the prophase spindle microtubules that coexists within the same cell. At later stages of mitosis, AtMAP65-1 and AtMAP65-5 differentially label the late spindle and phragmoplast. We present evidence for a mode of action for both proteins that involves the binding of monomeric units to microtubules that "zipper up" antiparallel arranged microtubules through the homodimerization of the N-terminal halves when adjacent microtubules encounter.