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J Microsc. 2000 Jun;198(Pt 3):218-45.

The cytoskeleton in plant and fungal cell tip growth.

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Laboratory of Experimental Plant Morphology and Cell Biology, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Tip-growing cells have a particular lifestyle that is characterized by the following features: (1) the cells grow in one direction, forming a cylindrical tube; (2) tip-growing cells are able to penetrate their growth environment, thus having to withstand considerable external forces; (3) the growth velocity of tip-growing cells is among the fastest in biological systems. Tip-growing cells therefore appear to be a system well suited to investigating growth processes. The cytoskeleton plays an important role in cell growth in general, which is why tip-growing cells provide an excellent model system for studying this aspect. The cytoskeletal system comprises structural elements, such as actin filaments and microtubules, as well as proteins that link these elements, control their configuration or are responsible for transport processes using the structural elements as tracks. Common aspects as well as differences in configuration and function of the cytoskeleton in various types of tip-growing cells reveal the general principles that govern the relationship between the cytoskeleton and cell growth.

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