Transport Logistics in Pollen Tubes

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Cellular organelles move within the cellular volume and the effect of the resulting drag forces on the liquid causes bulk movement in the cytosol. The movement of both organelles and cytosol leads to an overall motion pattern called cytoplasmic streaming or cyclosis. This streaming enables the active and passive transport of molecules and organelles between cellular compartments. Furthermore, the fusion and budding of vesicles with and from the plasma membrane (exo/endocytosis) allow for transport of material between the inside and the outside of the cell. In the pollen tube, cytoplasmic streaming and exo/endocytosis are very active and fulfill several different functions. In this review, we focus on the logistics of intracellular motion and transport processes as well as their biophysical underpinnings. We discuss various modeling attempts that have been performed to understand both long-distance shuttling and short-distance targeting of organelles. We show how the combination of mechanical and mathematical modeling with cell biological approaches has contributed to our understanding of intracellular transport logistics.

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