Wall Extensibility: Hormones and Wall Extension

  • R. E. Cleland
Part of the Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology book series (PLANT, volume 13 / B)


Plant cells can undergo striking amounts of cell elongation. For example, a cell initially 20 to 30 μ in length can end up over 2000 times as long (Bannon 1964). During elongation there must be a proportional increase in wall area. This increase occurs in one of three patterns. In algal rhizoids, fungal hyphae, root hairs, and pollen tubes (Green 1969) the wall increases in area only at the tip (tip growth). In bacteria (Fiedler and Glazer 1973), yeast (Gooday and Trinci 1980) and the red alga Griffithsia pacifica (Waaland et al. 1972) growth is restricted to only a part of the lateral wall (band growth); but in the majority of cells growth occurs throughout the whole lateral surface (Roelofsen 1965, Roland and Vian 1979). In this case (surface growth), growth involves an extension of wall already present as well as synthesis of new wall. As it is primarily surface growth which is controlled by plant hormones, further discussion of cell elongation will be restricted to cells which undergo this type of extension.


Stress Relaxation Wall Extension Cell Wall Loosening Isolate Cell Wall Cucumber Hypocotyl 
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  • R. E. Cleland

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