Measuring the mechanical properties of plant cells by combining micro-indentation with osmotic treatments

Weber, Alain; Braybrook, Siobhan; Huflejt, Michal; Mosca, Gabriella; Routier, Anne-Lise; Smith, Richard Simon (2015). Measuring the mechanical properties of plant cells by combining micro-indentation with osmotic treatments. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66(11), pp. 3229-3241. Oxford University Press 10.1093/jxb/erv135

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Growth in plants results from the interaction between genetic and signalling networks and the mechanical properties of cells and tissues. There has been a recent resurgence in research directed at understanding the mechanical aspects of growth, and their feedback on genetic regulation. This has been driven in part by the development of new micro-indentation techniques to measure the mechanical properties of plant cells in vivo. However, the interpretation of indentation experiments remains a challenge, since the force measures results from a combination of turgor pressure, cell wall stiffness, and cell and indenter geometry. In order to interpret the measurements, an accurate mechanical model of the experiment is required. Here, we used a plant cell system with a simple geometry, Nicotiana tabacum Bright Yellow-2 (BY-2) cells, to examine the sensitivity of micro-indentation to a variety of mechanical and experimental parameters. Using a finite-element mechanical model, we found that, for indentations of a few microns on turgid cells, the measurements were mostly sensitive to turgor pressure and the radius of the cell, and not to the exact indenter shape or elastic properties of the cell wall. By complementing indentation experiments with osmotic experiments to measure the elastic strain in turgid cells, we could fit the model to both turgor pressure and cell wall elasticity. This allowed us to interpret apparent stiffness values in terms of meaningful physical parameters that are relevant for morphogenesis.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Development
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Weber, Alain; Braybrook, Siobhan; Huflejt, Michal; Mosca, Gabriella; Routier, Anne-Lise and Smith, Richard Simon

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0022-0957

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

07 May 2015 08:40

Last Modified:

01 Jun 2018 02:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/jxb/erv135

PubMed ID:

25873663

Uncontrolled Keywords:

BY-2; cell wall elasticity; cellular force microscopy; finite-element method; mechanical modelling; micro-indentation; osmotic treatments; sensitivity analysis; turgor pressure

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.67915

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/67915

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