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Cracking the elusive alignment hypothesis: the microtubule-cellulose synthase nexus unraveled.

Trends in plant science (2012-07-13)
Martin Bringmann, Benoit Landrein, Christian Schudoma, Olivier Hamant, Marie-Theres Hauser, Staffan Persson
ABSTRACT

Directed plant cell growth is governed by deposition and alterations of cell wall components under turgor pressure. A key regulatory element of anisotropic growth, and hence cell shape, is the directional deposition of cellulose microfibrils. The microfibrils are synthesized by plasma membrane-located cellulose synthase complexes that co-align with and move along cortical microtubules. That the parallel relation between cortical microtubules and extracellular microfibrils is causal has been named the alignment hypothesis. Three recent studies revealed that the previously identified pom2 mutant codes for a large cellulose synthases interacting (CSI1) protein which also binds cortical microtubules. This review summarizes these findings, provides structure-function models and discusses the inferred mechanisms in the context of plant growth.

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