The cellular mechanics of an invasive lifestyle

J Exp Bot. 2013 Nov;64(15):4709-28. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert254. Epub 2013 Sep 7.


Invasive behaviour is the hallmark of a variety of cell types of animal, plant, and fungal origin. Here we review the purpose and mechanism of invasive growth and migration. The focus is on the physical principles governing the process, the source of invasive force, and the cellular mechanism by which the cell penetrates the substrate. The current experimental methods for measuring invasive force and the modelling approaches for studying invasive behaviour are explained, and future experimental strategies are proposed.

Keywords: Cancer cells; fungal hyphae; invasive growth; migrating cells; neurons; pollen tubes; root hairs; tip growth..

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cell Wall / physiology*
  • Eukaryotic Cells / cytology
  • Eukaryotic Cells / physiology*
  • Fungi / cytology
  • Fungi / growth & development
  • Fungi / physiology*
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Models, Biological
  • Plant Development
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Plant Roots / cytology
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Plant Roots / physiology
  • Pollen Tube / cytology
  • Pollen Tube / growth & development
  • Pollen Tube / physiology