Physical Forces Regulate Plant Development and Morphogenesis.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Plant cells in tissues experience mechanical stress not only as a result of high turgor, but also through interaction with their neighbors. Cells can expand at different rates and in different directions from neighbors with which they share a cell wall. This in connection with specific tissue shapes and properties of the cell wall material can lead to intricate stress patterns throughout the tissue. Two cellular responses to mechanical stress are a microtubule cytoskeletal response that directs new wall synthesis so as to resist stress, and a hormone transporter response that regulates transport of the hormone auxin, a regulator of cell expansion. Shape changes in plant tissues affect the pattern of stresses in the tissues, and at the same time, via the cellular stress responses, the pattern of stresses controls cell growth, which in turn changes tissue shape, and stress pattern. This feedback loop controls plant morphogenesis, and explains several previously mysterious aspects of plant growth.


  • Arun Sampathkumar
  • An Yan
  • Pawel Krupinski
  • Elliot M Meyerowitz
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biophysics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R475-R483
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch