The highly orientationally ordered cortical microtubule array in plant cells is a key component for cell growth and development. Recent experimental and computational work has shown that the anisotropic nucleation of new microtubules from pre-existing microtubules has a major effect on the alignment process. We formulate a theoretical model to investigate the role of the microtubule-bound nucleation on the self-organization of the dynamical cortical microtubules. A bifurcation analysis of the stability of the disordered phase of the model reveals that the effective degree of co-aligned nucleation is the main determinant of the location of the transition. Increased co-aligned nucleation creates a positive feedback effect on the ordering process that can significantly widen the ordered region. We validate these predictions by comparing to the results of particle-based simulations.

Cham: Springer
J. Paijmans (Joris)
Bull. Math. Biol.
Theory of Biomolecular Matter

Foteinopoulos, P., & Mulder, B. (2014). The effect of anisotropic microtubule-bound nucleations on ordering in the plant cortical array. Bull. Math. Biol., 76(11), 2907–2922. doi:10.1007/s11538-014-0039-3