MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: What is the difference between a microtubule in plant and animal cells

Date: Wed Jan 31 14:45:04 2001
Posted By: Wendy Shearer, Staff, Plant Molecular BIology, Lorus Therapeutics
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 980915750.Cb

The difference between the microtubles in plant and animals cells is seen during the cell cycle when the cells are dividing. In animal cells the microtubules help to form the cleavage furrow and in plant cells they form the cell plate. In both types of cells the microtubles are involved in the formation of the cytoskeleton (basically they help the cell hold its shape). Plant cells have cordical micro-tubules that lay down cellulose in cell wall Plant cortical microtubules are highly organized structures found tightly associated with the plasma membrane in growing and developing cells. They are essential morphogenetic tools used by the cell to provide a template for the orderly deposition of cellulose microfibrils. In most growing plant cells that have a diffuse growth pattern (i.e., deposit cellulose along their length), cortical microtubules are organized at right angles to the major growth axis. Their orientation ensures that new cellulose microfibrils will properly reinforce the growing wall so that the major growth (strain) axis is maintained when turgor pressure (stress) exceeds wall compliancy. A good website to find information on microtubules in general is

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