Cytoskeletal control of polar growth in plant cells

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1998 Feb;10(1):117-22. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(98)80094-x.


There are two quite different modes of polar cell expansion in plant cells, namely, diffuse growth and tip growth. The direction of diffuse growth is determined by the orientation of cellulose microfibrils in the cell wall, which in turn are aligned by microtubules in the cell cortex. The orientation of the cortical microtubule array changes in response to developmental and environmental signals, and recent evidence indicates that microtubule disassembly/reassembly and microtubule translocation participate in reorientation of the array. Tip growth, in contrast, is governed mainly by F-actin, which has several putative forms and functions in elongating cells. Longitudinal cables are involved in vesicle transport to the expanding apical dome and, in some tip growers, a subapical ring of F-actin may participate in wall-membrane adhesions. The structure and function of F-actin within the apical dome may be variable, ranging from a dense meshwork to sparse single filaments. The presence of multiple F-actin structures in elongating tips suggests extensive regulation of this cytoskeletal array.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Cell Polarity
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Plant Cells*