Physcomitrella patens: a model for tip cell growth and differentiation. Academic Article uri icon


  • The moss Physcomitrella patens has emerged as an excellent model system owing to its amenability to reverse genetics. The moss gametophyte has three filamentous tissues that grow by tip growth: chloronemata, caulonemata, and rhizoids. Because establishment of the moss plant relies on this form of growth, it is particularly suited for dissecting the molecular basis of tip growth. Recent studies demonstrate that a core set of actin cytoskeletal proteins is essential for tip growth. Additional actin cytoskeletal components are required for modulating growth to produce caulonemata and rhizoids. Differentiation into these cell types has previously been linked to auxin, light and nutrients. Recent studies have identified that core auxin signaling components as well as transcription factors that respond to auxin or nutrient levels are required for tip-growing cell differentiation. Future studies may establish a connection between the actin cytoskeleton and auxin or nutrient-induced cell differentiation.

publication date

  • December 2012