Plant cytokinesis, a fundamental process of plant life, involves de novo formation of a “cell plate” partitioning the cytoplasm of dividing cells. Cell plate formation is directed by orchestrated delivery, fusion of cytokinetic vesicles, and membrane maturation to form a nascent cell wall by timely deposition of polysaccharides. During cell plate maturation, the fragile membrane network transitions to a fenestrated sheet and finally a young cell wall. Here, we approximated cell plate sub-structures with testable shapes and adopted the Helfrich-free energy model for membranes, including a stabilizing and spreading force, to understand the transition from a vesicular network to a fenestrated sheet and mature cell plate. Regular cell plate development in the model was possible, with suitable bending modulus, for a two-dimensional late stage spreading force of 2–6 pN/nm, an osmotic pressure difference of 2–10 kPa, and spontaneous curvature between 0 and 0.04 nm–1. With these conditions, stable membrane conformation sizes and morphologies emerged in concordance with stages of cell plate development. To reach a mature cell plate, our model required the late-stage onset of a spreading/stabilizing force coupled with a concurrent loss of spontaneous curvature. Absence of a spreading/stabilizing force predicts failure of maturation. The proposed model provides a framework to interrogate different players in late cytokinesis and potentially other membrane networks that undergo such transitions. Callose, is a polysaccharide that accumulates transiently during cell plate maturation. Callose-related observations were consistent with the proposed model’s concept, suggesting that it is one of the factors involved in establishing the spreading force.
- Plant cells
- Plant Physiological Phenomena