Root Hairs pp 145-170 | Cite as

Calcium in Root Hair Growth

  • T. Bibikova
  • S. GilroyEmail author
Part of the Plant Cell Monographs book series (CELLMONO, volume 12)


The growth of cells as diverse as fungal hyphae, pollen tubes, algal rhizoids, and root hairs is characterized by a highly localized control of cell expansion confined to the growing tip. The cellular regulators that have been shown to maintain this spatial localization of growth range from monomeric G-proteins and the actin cytoskeleton to protein kinases and phospholipid-modulating enzymes. A central theme in the proposed mode of action of most of these factors is either regulation of, or response to, the concentration of cytoplasmic Ca2+. For example, a tip-focused Ca2+gradient is associated with the growing point of the root hair and is thought to mediate spatial control of membrane trafficking and the cytoskeleton. Key advances in our understanding of how Ca2+acts in this system have been the recent identification of some of the Ca2+channels and transporters likely responsible for modulating this Ca2+gradient and the likely central role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in regulating these events. Similarly, Molecular identification of Ca2+-responsive elements, such as Ca2+-dependent protein kinases, likely to interact with the tip-focused gradient has begun. This Ca2+-signaling system appears to interact with many of the other components of the tip growth system, including monomeric G-proteins, phospholipases, and the cytoskeleton, helping integrate these activities to facilitate the localization of growth.


Pollen Tube Root Hair Apical Plasma Membrane Apical Growth Root Hair Formation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Drs. Gabriele Monshausen and Sarah Swanson for their critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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