Survival of the aligned: Ordering of the plant cortical microtubule array

Simon H. Tindemans, Rhoda J. Hawkins, Bela M. Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The cortical array is a structure consisting of highly aligned microtubules which plays a crucial role in the characteristic uniaxial expansion of all growing plant cells. Recent experiments have shown polymerization-driven collisions between the membrane-bound cortical microtubules, suggesting a possible mechanism for their alignment. We present both a coarse-grained theoretical model and stochastic particle-based simulations of this mechanism, and we compare the results from these complementary approaches. Our results indicate that collisions that induce depolymerization are sufficient to generate the alignment of microtubules in the cortical array.

Original languageEnglish
Article number058103
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


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