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Quantifying the physics of growth: a case study in organ formation

Siobhan Braybrook
Sainsbury lab, University of Cambridge, UK
le 27/03/2014 à 15:30


There are two mechanisms by which a plant cell can expand, by increasing internal pressure or by loosening of cell wall material. Our current, simplified, hypotheses focus on the modification of the cell wall allowing for cell growth. An innovative and rich history in the literature has provided an organ-level growth framework; however, the application of this framework at the cellular (or single wall) level is challenging. How do concepts translate, if at all? Is it possible to decompose complex behaviours and conversely, to reconstruct them?

Recent technical advances have provided unprecedented access to cell and tissue level cell wall mechanical properties. Here we will examine a change in cell wall mechanics associated with organ formation at the shoot meristem, the involvement of the patterning hormone auxin, and the chemistry of the cell wall. We will focus on both the promotion of growth and its suppression, which combine to provide proper organ formation. We will discuss resultant data within the current organ-level framework for growth mechanics.