During the formation of stomata in the young leaves of wheat the cells divide in a characteristic manner; two of the cell divisions are asymmetrical and produce cells of unequal sizes. A study of the fine structure of the cells during mitosis has shown that a band of microtubules appears at each preprophase stage. This band, although it is not present in the subsequent stages of mitosis, indicates the location on the wall of the mother cell where the cell plate will join it at the final division of the cytoplasm at telophase. Thus the future plane of cell division is indicated by these microtubules at preprophase.
Microtubules are also found at the growing edge of the cell plate and appear to function in directing the vesicles which are brought up to extend the plate. The cell plate which is formed to cut off the subsidiary cells on either side of the guard mother cell is curved, and the microtubules present in conjunction with this plate during its formation could function to align and hold it on the required position.
The relationship of the guard mother cell to the divisions of the adjacent epidermal cells which form the subsidiary cells is discussed, and related to general problems of growth and differentiation.