Peeking at a plant through the holes in the wall - exploring the roles of plasmodesmata

Kuan Ju Lu*, Florence R. Danila, Yueh Cho, Christine Faulkner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Plasmodesmata (PD) are membrane-line pores that connect neighbouring plant cells and allow molecular exchange via the symplast. Past studies have revealed the basic structure of PD, some of the transport mechanisms for molecules through PD, and a variety of physiological processes in which they function. Recently, with the help of newly developed technologies, several exciting new features of PD have been revealed. New PD structures were observed during early formation of PD and between phloem sieve elements and phloem pole pericycle cells in roots. Both observations challenge our current understanding of PD structure and function. Research into novel physiological responses, which are regulated by PD, indicates that we have not yet fully explored the potential contribution of PD to overall plant function. In this Viewpoint article, we summarize some of the recent advances in understanding the structure and function of PD and propose the challenges ahead for the community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1310-1314
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Calcium wave
  • Circadian clock
  • Genome transfer
  • Intercellular communication
  • Pathogen and symbiotic interaction
  • Plasmodesmata

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