The role of the cytoskeleton and associated proteins in determination of the plant cell division plane

Plant J. 2013 Jul;75(2):258-69. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12177. Epub 2013 Apr 19.


In plants, as in all eukaryotic organisms, microtubule- and actin-filament based structures play fundamental roles during cell division. In addition to the mitotic spindle, plant cells have evolved a unique cytoskeletal structure that designates a specific division plane before the onset of mitosis via formation of a cortical band of microtubules and actin filaments called the preprophase band. During cytokinesis, a second plant-specific microtubule and actin filament structure called the phragmoplast directs vesicles to create the new cell wall. In response to intrinsic and extrinsic cues, many plant cells form a preprophase band in G2 , then the preprophase band recruits specific proteins to populate the cortical division site prior to disassembly of the preprophase band in prometaphase. These proteins are thought to act as a spatial reminder that actively guides the phragmoplast towards the cortical division site during cytokinesis. A number of proteins involved in determination and maintenance of the plane of cell division have been identified. Our current understanding of the molecular interactions of these proteins and their regulation of microtubules is incomplete, but advanced imaging techniques and computer simulations have validated some early concepts of division site determination.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Physcomitrella patens; Tradescantia virginiana; cytokinesis; cytoskeleton; division plane; maize; phragmoplast; preprophase band.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Bryopsida / cytology
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Wall
  • Cytokinesis
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / physiology
  • Mitosis
  • Plant Cells / physiology*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Prophase
  • Tradescantia / cytology
  • Zea mays / cytology


  • Plant Proteins