Published in

The Plant Cell, 2021

DOI: 10.1093/plcell/koab230

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Plant cell mechanobiology: greater than the sum of its parts

Journal article published in 2021 by Jennette M. Codjoe ORCID, Kari Miller ORCID, Elizabeth S. Haswell ORCID
Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher
Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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Abstract

Abstract The ability to sense and respond to physical forces is critical for the proper function of cells, tissues, and organisms across the evolutionary tree. Plants sense gravity, osmotic conditions, pathogen invasion, wind, and the presence of barriers in the soil, and dynamically integrate internal and external stimuli during every stage of growth and development. While the field of plant mechanobiology is growing, much is still poorly understood—including the interplay between mechanical and biochemical information at the single-cell level. In this review, we provide an overview of the mechanical properties of three main components of the plant cell and the mechanoperceptive pathways that link them, with an emphasis on areas of complexity and interaction. We discuss the concept of mechanical homeostasis, or “mechanostasis,” and examine the ways in which cellular structures and pathways serve to maintain it. We argue that viewing mechanics and mechanotransduction as emergent properties of the plant cell can be a useful conceptual framework for synthesizing current knowledge and driving future research. One sentence summary: We provide an overview of the mechanical properties of three main components of the plant cell and the mechanoperceptive pathways that link them, with an emphasis on areas of complexity and interaction.