It takes a muscle…
Plants may be rooted to the spot, but they can still flex their body parts. A new Review, published in New Phytologist, describes how plants got their moves.
The colourful cover of New Phytologist 218:1 is a cross-section showing the primary and secondary phloem of a Cannabis sativa stem. These organs contain ‘G-fibres’ – specialised structures that are able to ‘contract’, contributing to the movement of plant parts in response to their environment.
The Review by Prof. Tatyana Gorshkova, and colleagues from the Russian Academy of Sciences, describes the development of G-fibres with a tertiary cell wall, a widespread phenomenon throughout the plant kingdom. By comparing the general structure of cell walls in many different organs in various plant species, Gorshkova and colleagues unravel a basic but often overlooked mechanism for plant movement, effective in many different situations.
Read the Review: Gorshkova, T., Chernova, T., Mokshina, N., Ageeva, M. and Mikshina, P. (2018) Plant ‘muscles’: fibers with a tertiary cell wall. New Phytologist. doi: 10.1111/nph.14997
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Mike Whitfield (@mgwhitfield)