From plasmodesma geometry to effective symplasmic permeability through biophysical modelling

Eva E. Deinum*, Bela M. Mulder, Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Regulation of molecular transport via intercellular channels called plasmodesmata (PDs) is important for both coordinating developmental and environmental responses among neighbouring cells, and isolating (groups of) cells to execute distinct programs. Cell-to-cell mobility of 2uorescent molecules and PD dimensions (measured from electron micrographs) are both used as methods to predict PD transport capacity (i.e., effective symplasmic permeability), but often yield very different values. Here, we build a theoretical bridge between both experimental approaches by calculating the effective symplasmic permeability from a geometrical description of individual PDs and considering the 2ow towards them. We 1nd that a dilated central region has the strongest impact in thick cell walls and that clustering of PDs into pit 1elds strongly reduces predicted permeabilities. Moreover, our open source multi-level model allows to predict PD dimensions matching measured permeabilities and add a functional interpretation to structural differences observed between PDs in different cell walls.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere49000
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


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