Cell Size Control in Plants.

green Green open access

The genetic control of the characteristic cell sizes of different species and tissues is a long-standing enigma. Plants are convenient for studying this question in a multicellular context, as their cells do not move and are easily tracked and measured from organ initiation in the meristems to subsequent morphogenesis and differentiation. In this article, we discuss cell size control in plants compared with other organisms. As seen from yeast cells to mammalian cells, size homeostasis is maintained cell autonomously in the shoot meristem. In developing organs, vacuolization contributes to cell size heterogeneity and may resolve conflicts between growth control at the cellular and organ levels. Molecular mechanisms for cell size control have implications for how cell size responds to changes in ploidy, which are particularly important in plant development and evolution. We also discuss comparatively the functional consequences of cell size and their potential repercussions at higher scales, including genome evolution.