Many cells exhibit large-scale active circulation of their entire fluid contents, a process termed cytoplasmic streaming. This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in plant cells, often presenting strikingly regimented flow patterns. The driving mechanism in such cells is known: myosin-coated organelles entrain cytoplasm as they process along actin filament bundles fixed at the periphery. Still unknown, however, is the developmental process that constructs the well-ordered actin configurations required for coherent cell-scale flow. Previous experimental works on streaming regeneration in cells of Characean algae, whose longitudinal flow is perhaps the most regimented of all, hint at an autonomous process of microfilament self-organization driving the formation of streaming patterns during morphogenesis. Working from first principles, we propose a robust model of streaming emergence that combines motor dynamics with both microscopic and macroscopic hydrodynamics to explain how several independent processes, each ineffectual on its own, can reinforce to ultimately develop the patterns of streaming observed in the Characeae and other streaming species.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
- Pub Date:
- August 2013
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter;
- Physics - Biological Physics;
- Quantitative Biology - Cell Behavior
- 6 pages, 5 figures