Cells communicate by transferring molecules from one to another. When a molecule is transferred it creates a reaction which then causes an effect. Within multicellular organisms there is cell-to-cell communication. Direct communication between cells can occur in two ways. One way is cell-cell recognition via interaction between surface proteins. When there is contact between cell surfaces, the proteins on the surface of the cell interact and create a signal. The other way is through cell junctions between adjacent cells. In animals this is called gap junction, in plants it is called plasmodesmata. Plasmodesmata are microchannels that act as intercellular cytoplasmic bridges that create an interconnected commune within adjacent cells and enable transport of materials between plant cells. The plasmodesmata connects the symplastic space in plants. They are specialized channels that permit intercellular movement of water, various nutrients, and other molecules (including signalling molecules) (Epel, 1994). Myosin VIII, a plant specific unconventional myosin has been localized within the plasmodesmata(Reichelt et al, 1997). The role of this protein within the plasmodesmata has yet to be determined.
Plant cells are surrounded by cell wall which separates neighboring cells.Plasmodesmata(PD) are located in areas in cell walls called primary pit fields. There is up to one million per square millimeter making up one percent of the entire area of the cell wall (Salisbury and Ross, 1992). There are two forms of PD, primary and secondary. Primary originates during cell division and remains in growing cells. Secondary PD are formed in mature plant cells. PD vary in formation as well. They can be simple, twinned, ...
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...lackman, L. (1996) A model of the macromolecular structure of plasmodesmata. Trends in Plant Science 1 (9):307-311.
Tilney, LG, Cooke, TJ, Connelly, PS, and Tilney MS. (1991) The structure of plasmodesmata as revealed by plasmolysis, detergent extraction, and protease digestion. The Journal of Cell Biology 112 (4):739-747.
Balusûka F, Cvrcûkova ́ F, Kendrick-Jones J, Volkmann D. 2001a. Sink plasmodesmata as gateways for phloem unloading. Myosin VIII and calreticulin as molecular determinants of sink strength? Plant Physiology 126, 39–46.
Knight AE, Kendrick-Jones J (1993) A myosin-like protein from a higher plant. J Mol Biol 231:143–154.
Reichelt S, Kendrick-Jones J (2000) Myosins. in Actin: A Dynamic Framework for Multiple Plant Cell Functions. eds Staiger CJ, Baluška F, Volkmann D, Barlow PW (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands), pp 29–44.
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