Force-Driven Polymerization and Turgor-Induced Wall Expansion.

O. Ali & J. Traas

Trends in Plant Science, 21(5), pp.398–409. (2016)


While many molecular players involved in growth control have been identified in the past decades, it is often unknown how they mechanistically act to induce specific shape changes during development. Plant morphogenesis results from the turgor-induced yielding of the extracellular and load-bearing cell wall. Its mechanochemical equilibrium appears as a fundamental link between molecular growth regulation and the effective shape evolution of the tissue. We focus here on force-driven polymerization of the cell wall as a central process in growth control. We propose that mechanical forces facilitate the insertion of wall components, in particular pectins, a process that can be modulated through genetic regulation. We formalize this idea in a mathematical model, which we subsequently test with published experimental results.