Mechanochemical polarization of contiguous cell walls shapes plant pavement cells


The jigsaw-puzzle shape of the epidermis layer has been puzzling the scientists for some time now. Majda et al. examine the shape of the epidermis cells from the cell wall perspective. Mutations leading to even minor changes in cell wall composition significantly affected pavement cell geometry. Using computational modeling the team discovered that in order to produce lobed cells the stiffness of the cell walls must be heterogeneous along and across the cell wall. The heterogeneities in cell wall stiffness were observed in the pavement cells even before lobe formation. The cell wall CA-rop2 mutant, defective in lobe formation, did not show changes in stiffness. Whether mechanochemical polarity exists in other tissues remains to be unveiled. (Summary by Magdalena Julkowska) Devel. Cell 10.1016/j.devcel.2017.10.017