Straighten up and fly right: microtubule dynamics and organization of non-centrosomal arrays in higher plants

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Feb;20(1):107-16. doi: 10.1016/


Live cell imaging and genetic studies are demonstrating that cortical microtubule arrays in plant cells are dynamic structures in which microtubule (MT) bundles play a key role in creating array organization and function. Steps important for creating and organizing these arrays include recruitment of nucleation complexes to the cell cortex and to the lattices of previously established MTs, association of newly created MTs to the cell cortex, release of MTs from sites of nucleation, transport of released MTs by polymer treadmilling, and subsequent interactions between treadmilling MTs. The results of MT interactions include induced catastrophe, severing, and the capture and reorientation of growing polymer ends by bundling interactions. Together, these properties predict a capacity for self-ordering that is likely to play an important role in establishing the parallel organization of the arrays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Centrosome / metabolism
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Plant Cells*
  • Plants / metabolism*