Regulation of Plasmodesmal Transport and Modification of Plasmodesmata During Development and Following Infection by Viruses and Viral Proteins

  • Tessa M. Burch-Smith
  • Patricia C. ZambryskiEmail author


Plant cells are encased in cellulose precluding direct contact. To enable intercellular communication, plants evolved cell wall-spanning channels called plasmodesmata. Plasmodesmata are essential to facilitate transport of small molecules such as photosynthate, as well as critical signaling macromolecules such as transcription factors and RNAs. Plasmodesmata are indispensible for all stages of plant development, from embryogenesis, through vegetative and reproductive development. Plasmodesmata are not passive channels, but instead they are highly dynamic and change their apertures in response to intracellular signals such as reactive oxygen species, hormones, and chloroplast and mitochondrial homeostasis. To date the best-known mechanism for controlling the degree of plasmodesmata transport is the reversible deposition of callose polysaccharides in the cell wall immediately surrounding plasmodesmata channels. Plant viruses have evolved to counteract innate plasmodesmata regulatory mechanisms and are well-known pirates of plasmodesmata during infectious spread.


Tobacco Mosaic Virus Shoot Apical Meristem Movement Protein Callose Deposition Triple Gene Block 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Krzysztof Bobik, Jacob Brunkard, and John Zupan for superb help with the illustrations. TBS thanks the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for start-up funds.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular BiologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Microbial BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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