Microtubules and the shape of plants to come

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Jan;5(1):13-22. doi: 10.1038/nrm1277.


Plants control the direction of cell expansion as a way of shaping growth. Since their discovery in plants 40 years ago, microtubules have been suspected of forming a template that helps to regulate the direction of growth. The detailed mechanism, however, has been elusive, especially as plants lack a microtubule-organizing centre. Developmental mutants are now beginning to show how microtubules are organized and how this affects plant morphology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellulose / analysis
  • Microfibrils / ultrastructure
  • Microtubules / physiology
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure*
  • Plant Development*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Plant Roots / ultrastructure
  • Plants / ultrastructure*


  • Cellulose