Cell Wall Dynamics in the Regulation of Cell Morphogenesis and Growth

Abstract : Cells in nature develop in a wide range of forms, following diverse growth patterns. Despite the importance of these fundamental processes, how cells regulate their growth and morphogenesis is still poorly understood. In this thesis, I explored these processes, focusing my investigations on tip growing walled cells and in particular, by exploiting the fission yeast Schyzosaccharomyces pombe, adopting a mainly biomechanical approach. To this aim, I first developed novel methods to measure key cell wall mechanical parameters in vivo and in large scale, which allowed the very first observations of cell wall dynamics. This revealed that the cell wall is softer and highly variable at growing poles, and almost stable and stiffer at non-growing sites. During elongation, there is an interplay between wall mechanics and cell growth, whose active control allows cell expansion while preserving cell integrity. In addition, I observed that there is a strong correlation between cell wall mechanics and cell morphology, and ectopic perturbations of wall properties directly affect shape establishment and maintenance. Together my results show that the regulation of wall mechanics is fundamental in the determination of cell dynamics in tip growing walled cells. Moreover, this suggests that dynamic observation of cell surface mechanics is crucial for a complete understanding of multifactorial and complex processes as growth and morphogenesis.
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Valeria Davì. Cell Wall Dynamics in the Regulation of Cell Morphogenesis and Growth. Subcellular Processes [q-bio.SC]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS295⟩. ⟨tel-02296215⟩

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