Review: The structure-to-function missing link of plasmodesmata: ($)

Plasmodesmata are tiny channels between cells that allow intercellular movement of messages and metabolites as well as pathogens. They are structurally complex and usually have a central strand of endoplasmic-reticulum (the desmotubule) that passes between adjacent cells, connected by spoke-like elements to the plasma membranes that line the channel. Nicolas et al. speculate on how the structure of plasmodesmata affects their function, and whether they can be considered a specialized form of membrane contact site (a transfer point between membranes of two cellular compartments, with one typically being the ER). From this perspective, they then further ask about the identity of the spoke-like elements and the role of membrane microdomains in plasmodesmatal functions. J. Exp. Bot. 10.1093/jxb/erx225