Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Certain aspects of cellular behaviour in relation to growth and development of plants can be understood in terms of the “cell body” concept proposed by Daniel Mazia in 1993. During the interphase of the mitotic cell cycle, the plant cell body is held to consist of a nucleus and a perinuclear microtubule-organizing centre from which microtubules radiate into the cytoplasm. During mitosis and cytokinesis in meristematic cells, and also during the period of growth in post-mitotic cells immediately beyond the meristem, the plant cell body undergoes various characteristic morphological transformations, many of which are proposed as being related to changing structural connections with the actin-based component of the cytoskeleton and with specialized, plasma-membrane-associated sites at the cell periphery. In post-mitotic cells, these transformations of the plant cell body coincide with, and probably provide conditions for, the various pathways of development which such cells follow. They are also responsible, for the acquisition of new cellular polarities. Events in which the plant cell body participates include the formation of a mitotic spindle, phragmoplast, and new cell division wall, the rearrangement of a diffuse type of cell wall growth into tip growth (as occurs, e.g., during the initiation and subsequent development of root hairs), and the growth and division that occurs in reactivated vacuolate cells. If more evidence can be marshalled in support of the existence and properties of the plant cell body, then this concept could prove useful in interpreting the cytological bases of a range of developmental events in plants.
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