Predicting division planes of three-dimensional cells by soap-film minimization ($) (Plant Cell)

Martinez et al. used a modelling approach to see if it is possible to predict the location of a cell’s future division plane. In most cases the cell divides according to strict geometric rules, such that the newly formed wall will have a minimum area (described as a soap-film minimization model). However, in some cases the predicted plane of division would cause the new cell wall to form in contact with another cell wall junction, which would form a weak, four-way junction. In these cases, the cells regularly selected a different location for the new cell wall; by imaging the position of the pre-prophase band, the authors were able to observe the change in orientation of the future division plane. These studies reveal that the soap-film minimization method is useful for modelling 3D cell division planes, and also that there is communication between existing cell walls and the nascent division plane. (Summary by Mary Williams) Plant Cell 10.1105/tpc.18.00401