CS -15-1 - Modeling plant cell division in three dimensions

Monday, July 16
1:03 PM - 1:23 PM

Since the 1800s, Errera predicted that plant cells divide so that the new cell wall bisects the cell while minimizing its surface, similar to soap films. We created a model based on soap-film minimization to explicitly test this hypothesis on real three-dimensional cells. This model performs many iterative soap-film minimizations to identify the probability that the cell will divide in one orientation versus another potential division. In many cases, our in silico division prediction is very similar to the in vivo division. In other cases, we observed a discrepancy between the soap-film minimization model prediction and the in vivo division. We assessed the location of the future division by determining the location of a pre-mitotic structure known as the preprophase band (PPB). The discrepancies between in vivo and in silico divisions were sometimes correlated with an adjacent cell wall close to the predicted soap film division, known as 4-way junction avoidance. Overall, we show that plant cells, by a yet unknown mechanism, sense their geometry, and often place PPBs in soap-film-minimizing orientations, confirming Errera's predictions were correct for many cells. While it is likely that cell geometry sensing occurs via dynamic properties of microtubules, this hypothesis has yet to be explicitly tested. This soap-film minimization model can be used to determine the relative contribution of geometry versus other important division plane orienting mechanisms such as tensile stress.



Pablo Martinez – University of California, Riverside; Lindy Allsman – University of California, Riverside; Kenneth Brakke – Susquehanna University; Christopher Hoyt – Harvey Mudd College; Jordan Hayes – University of California, Riverside

Carolyn Rasmussen

Assistant Professor of Plant Cell Biology
University Of California, Riverside


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CS -15-1 - Modeling plant cell division in three dimensions

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