Strategies for cell shape control in tip-growing cells

Otger Campàs, Enrique Rojas, Jacques Dumais, L. Mahadevan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


• Premise of the study: Despite the large diversity in biological cell morphology, the processes that specify and control cell shape are not yet fully understood. Here we study the shape of tip-growing, walled cells, which have evolved a polar mode of cell morphogenesis leading to characteristic filamentous cell morphologies that extend only apically. • Methods: We identified the relevant parameters for the control of cell shape and derived scaling laws based on mass conservation and force balance that connect these parameters to the resulting geometrical phenotypes. These laws provide quantitative testable relations linking morphological phenotypes to the biophysical processes involved in establishing and modulating cell shape in tip-growing, walled cells. • Key results and conclusions: By comparing our theoretical results to the observed morphological variation within and across species, we found that tip-growing cells from plant and fungal species share a common strategy to shape the cell, whereas oomycete species have evolved a different mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1577-1582
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Cell wall
  • Morphogenesis
  • Morphological variation
  • Tip-growth
  • Walled cells


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