Orchestrating cell morphology from the inside out - using polarized cell expansion in plants as a model. uri icon


  • Intracellular organization forms the basis of changes in the extracellular matrix. In walled cells, these changes are essential for morphogenesis and growth. The highly polarized cells of mosses and liverworts together with root hairs and pollen tubes are geometrically simple cells that develop in the absence of complex tissue-scale signaling, providing an excellent model to study cell polarity. Recent advances present a unifying theme where the cytoskeleton and its associated motors work in coordination with vesicle trafficking. This coordination results in a recycling system near the cell tip, where endocytosed molecules are sorted and combined with exocytic cargo driving growth. Interestingly, functional similarities between filamentous fungi and plants promise to advance our understanding of cell polarization and growth across kingdoms.

publication date

  • February 2020