Determination of symmetric and asymmetric division planes in plant cells

Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2011;62:387-409. doi: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-042110-103802.


The cellular organization of plant tissues is determined by patterns of cell division and growth coupled with cellular differentiation. Cells proliferate mainly via symmetric division, whereas asymmetric divisions are associated with initiation of new developmental patterns and cell types. Division planes in both symmetrically and asymmetrically dividing cells are established through the action of a cortical preprophase band (PPB) of cytoskeletal filaments, which is disassembled upon transition to metaphase, leaving behind a cortical division site (CDS) to which the cytokinetic phragmoplast is later guided to position the cell plate. Recent progress has been made in understanding PPB formation and function as well as the nature and function of the CDS. In asymmetrically dividing cells, division plane establishment is governed by cell polarity. Recent work is beginning to shed light on polarization mechanisms in asymmetrically dividing cells, with receptor-like proteins and potential downstream effectors emerging as important players in this process.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division*
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Plant Cells*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / physiology
  • Plant Stomata / growth & development
  • Plant Vascular Bundle / cytology
  • Plant Vascular Bundle / growth & development
  • Plant Vascular Bundle / physiology
  • Plants / ultrastructure
  • Seeds / cytology
  • Seeds / ultrastructure
  • Spindle Apparatus / physiology
  • Spindle Apparatus / ultrastructure
  • Transport Vesicles / physiology


  • Plant Proteins