Dynamic modeling of cell shape during oscillatory pollen tube growth

Lawrence J Winship

Work to Pursue

1 – I would like to develop a more sophisticated and hopefully realistic picture of changes in wall stress in 3 dimensions as cells grow and oscillate, based upon an analysis of curvature in R3.

2 – I want to pursue the notion that only a certain set of local expansion rates on the surface of the pollen tube can account for the changes in shape we observe. If we can even narrow the range of possible local expansion rates at a given location on the tip we can compare them to wall stress and thus build up a 3 D map of wall viscosity over time. The final step would be to compare changes in wall properties to other cytological features and perhaps to an improved model of the pollen tube wall.

3 – I would like very much to think about what kinds of wall structures would allow for the features in items 1 and 2 above. That is, how do methoxylated HGI, de-methoxylated HGI, and calcium ions interact to provide both the strength to withstand 0.4 MPa and the viscous flow to grow so rapidly? Is there arole for cellulose or other polysaccharides in the structure of the pollen tube tip? Some sort of
composite material?

Proceedings of the 5th Mathematics in the Plant Sciences Study Group