The parallel lives of microtubules and cellulose microfibrils

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Dec;11(6):641-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.10.007. Epub 2008 Nov 1.


A major breakthrough was the recent discovery that cellulose synthases really do move along the plasma membrane upon tracks provided by the underlying cortical microtubules. It emphasized the cytoplasmic contribution to cell wall organization. A growing number of microtubule-associated proteins has been identified and shown to affect the way that microtubules are ordered, with downstream effects on the pattern of growth. The dynamic properties of microtubules turn out to be key in understanding the behaviour of the global array and good progress has been made in deciphering the rules by which the array is self-organized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cellulose / metabolism*
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism
  • Microfibrils / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism*


  • Cellulose
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • cellulose synthase