Decision letter: From plasmodesma geometry to effective symplasmic permeability through biophysical modelling
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 fluorescent 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.
... ferent 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 flow towards them. We find that a dilated central region has the strongest impact in thick cell walls and that clustering of PDs into pit fields 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. Deinum et al. eLife 2019;8:e49000. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.49000 1 of 40 RESEARCH ARTICLE Deinum et al. eLife 2019;8:e49000.