Shaping in plant cells

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2001 Dec;4(6):540-9. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5266(00)00213-2.


Plant cells adopt a diversity of different shapes that are adapted to their specific functions. Central to the development of specialised form is the modification of cell-wall composition and organisation. A number of recent papers emphasise the importance of the cell wall to cell shaping, in the definition of both localised regions that are expandable and regions that are more resistant to mechanical forces. The organisation and activity of the cytoskeleton, and the activity of signalling pathways, are also essential in defining regions of the cell wall that will grow and those that will not. Although turgor has long been assumed to be a rather passive contributor to cell shaping, recent reports show that, in some cells, differential changes in turgor may have a role in establishing specialised cell form.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Size / genetics
  • Cell Wall / physiology
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Magnoliopsida / cytology*
  • Meristem / growth & development
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / physiology*
  • Plant Epidermis / growth & development
  • Plant Structures / cytology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Water / metabolism


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Water