New animation of an illustrative model of the primary plant cell wall

July 19, 2017

Filed under: — dmathew @ 11:06 am

(illustrated by Drew Berry, directed  by Tony Bacic, Monika Doblin and Mike Gidley; and advised by Mauricio Bonilla, Daniel Oehme and Sridar Kannam)

Building on the outcomes of the collaboration between IBM Research – Australia and its University of Melbourne and University of Queensland nodes, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls used the illustrative skills of Drew Berry (The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research) to produce an educational animation of the primary cell wall of plants. The viewer is taken for a journey through the wall from the outside (cell surface middle lamella) to the plasma membrane (protoplast surface). The cell wall is a composite structure that provides support and protection. The wall is laid down in layers and branching networks that are composed of water and carbohydrate polymers including hemicellulose, pectin and strong cellulose fibres. The primary wall is created at the outer membrane surface. A rosette of cellulose synthesis enzymes moves across the surface generating cellulose molecules which combine into stiff microfibrils. Vesicles from the cell’s interior release a cargo of pectins and hemicelluloses that interact with the cellulose microfibrils.