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CYTOKINESIS AND BUILDING OF THE CELL PLATE IN PLANTS.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Plant Biotechnology Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1002; e-mail: verma.1@osu.edu

Abstract

Cytokinesis in plant cells is more complex than in animals, as it involves building a cell plate as the final step in generating two cells. The cell plate is built in the center of phragmoplast by fusion of Golgi-derived vesicles. This step imposes an architectural problem where ballooning of the fused structures has to be avoided to create a plate instead. This is apparently achieved by squeezing the vesicles into dumbbell-shaped vesicle-tubule-vesicle (VTV) structures with the help of phragmoplastin, a homolog of dynamin. These structures are fused at their ends in a star-shaped body creating a tubulovesicular "honeycomb-like" structure sandwiched between the positive ends of the phragmoplast microtubules. This review summarizes our current understanding of various mechanisms involved in budding-off of Golgi vesicles, delivery and fusion of vesicles to initiate cell plate, and the synthesis of polysaccharides at the forming cell plate. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in determining the site, direction, and the point of attachment of the growing cell plate with the parental cell wall. These gaps may be filled soon, as many genes that have been identified by mutations are analyzed and functions of their products are deciphered.

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