Growth and Cell Enlargement

Cell growth (cell enlargement) is as fundamental for growth of organisms as is cell division. Implicit in cell growth is an increase in cell size, i.e., cell enlargement. Without cell enlargement, no organism can continue to grow. Cells unable to enlarge eventually are unable to divide such that growth will cease. Yet, compared to cell division, the enlargement phase of cell growth has been largely neglected by cell biologists. Moreover, it is this part of the growth process where the Golgi apparatus may be most closely involved.

Proliferating cells in culture tend to double both their size and their mass before each division (Mitchison, 1971). A dividing cell, if spherical, in order to double in volume, must increase the surface covered by the plasma membrane by a factor of 1.6 (Graham et al., 1973). In addition, they must produce membrane material to compensate for degradation (turnover). Included within this category are dividing cells which form large parts of their surface membrane de novo along the plane of division within a relative short time such as during cell plate formation in higher plants (for review see Whaley, 1975) and furrow formation (Albertson et al., 2005) in non-walled cells during cytokinesis at the end of mitosis.


Pollen Tube Golgi Apparatus Cell Enlargement Secretory Vesicle NADH Oxidase 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

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