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Cortical microtubules (CMTs) are essential for normal plant morphogenesis because they affect the axes of cell elongation and predict the placement of cell division planes. The function of the CMTs is intimately linked to their organizational state, which is subject to spatial and temporal modifications by developmental and environmental cues. CMT assembly dynamics govern when, where, and how microtubules appear in a cell's cortex, and the regulation of these properties affects their organization. However, the principles that link microtubule assembly dynamics to cortical array organization and reconfiguration are not well understood. This essay focuses on recent advances in the understanding of CMT assembly dynamics and how this new information provides insight into the dynamic behavior and intermicrotubule interactions that affect the self-organizational state of CMTs.


Copyright © 2004 by the American Society of Plant Biologists. Published in Plant Cell. 2004 Oct;16(10):2546-52. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.104.161030

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