Cell walls lock each cell in a specific position within the supra-organization of a plant. Despite its fixed location, each cell must be able to sense alterations in its immediate environment and respond rapidly to ensure the optimal functioning, continued growth and development, and eventual long-term survival of the plant. The ultra-structural detail that underlies our present understanding of the plant cell has largely been acquired from fixed and processed material that does not allow an appreciation of the dynamic nature of sub-cellular events in the cell. In recent years, fluorescent protein-aided imaging of living plant cells has added to our understanding of the dynamic nature of the plant cell. One of the major outcomes of live imaging of plant cells is the growing appreciation that organelle shapes are not fixed, and many organelles extend their surface transiently in rapid response to environmental stimuli. In many cases, the extensions appear as tubules extending from the main organelle. Specific terms such as stromules from plastids, matrixules from mitochondria, and peroxules from peroxisomes have been coined to describe the extensions. Here, we review our present understanding of organelle extensions and discuss how they may play potential roles in maintaining cellular homeostasis in plant cells.
[ Jaideep Mathur (Corresponding author)]