Herringbone pattern in plant cell walls critical to cell growth

Plant cells tend to grow longer instead of wider due to the alignment of the many layers of cellulose that make up their cell walls, according to a new study that may have implications for biofuels research.

According to a new study, the protein CSI1 and the alternating angle of the many layers that make up a cell’s wall, creating a herringbone pattern (left), are critical for cell growth. The cell wall layers of a mutant plant without the protein CSI1 are all oriented in the same direction (right), and the mutant’s growth is restricted. IMAGE: GU LAB, PENN STATE