Central microtubule function in eukaryotic flagella and cilia - (Feb/01/2012 )
I am an undergrad student at U of C in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I asked my professor a question about the function of the central pair of microtubules enclosed by the central sheath in eukaryotic cilia and flagella and he replied simply saying that it is not clearly understood. I am wondering if anyone can either direct me to a peer-reviewed journal article that explains these microtubules or if anyone has an idea of their function. I have some ideas and want to know if they could be valid, or if they are worth investigating.
This textbook describes the arrangement as "curious." So, I believe you are correct in that their is not an accepted role of the central pair. If I had to guess their function, I would just describe them as a stability/structural component. They are the only "complete microtubules" (not fusions) and their rigidity may be vital for maintaining the cilia/flagella shape