, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 56–62 | Cite as

Cytoskeletal elements in cotton seed hair developmentin vitro: Their possible regulatory role in cell wall organization

  • H. Quader
  • W. Herth
  • U. Ryser
  • E. Schnepf


The localization and orientation of cytoskeletal elements in developing cotton fibres were studied by the indirect immunofluorescence and the dry cleaving technique. Microtubules are transversely arranged to the cell axis, most probably in a flat helix, in the cortex of expanding fibres. Since the innermost deposited cellulose microfibrils always show primarily the same orientation it is postulated that the microtubules control the transverse deposition of the cellulose fibrils. Little further cell expansion takes place during secondary wall formation and the microfibril pattern corresponds to that of the cortical microtubules,e.g., in the steepness of their helicoidal turns. Microtubules with a length of 7–20 μm were observed, probably they are longer. The importance of microtubule length on microfibril deposition is discussed. The density of microtubule packing is in the range of 8–14 μm-1 as in other comparable cell types. In contrast to the microtubules, actin filaments are most likely longitudinally oriented during different phases of fibre development. The dry cleaving technique reveals numerous coated pits in the plasma membrane which are not crossed by microtubules. They seem to be linked to the latter by filamentous structures.


Cytoskeleton Cellulose fibrils Cotton fibres Coated pits 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Quader
    • 1
  • W. Herth
    • 1
  • U. Ryser
    • 2
  • E. Schnepf
    • 1
  1. 1.ZellenlehreUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Biologie und PhytochemieUniversität FreiburgSwitzerland

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