Intrusive growth is a type of cell elongation when the rate of its longitudinal growth is higher than that of surrounding cells; therefore, these cells intrude between the neighboring cells penetrating the middle lamella. The review considers the classical example of intrusive growth, e.g., elongation of sclerenchyma fibers when the cells achieve the length of several centimeters. We sum the published results of investigations of plant fiber intrusive growth and present some features of intrusive growth characterized by the authors for flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) and hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) fibers. The following characteristics of intrusive growth are considered: its rate and duration, relationship with the growth rate of surrounding cells, the type of cell elongation, peculiarities of the fiber primary cell wall structure, fibers as multinucleate cells, and also the control of intrusive growth. Genes, which expression is sharply reduced at suppression of intrusive growth, are also considered. Arguments for separation of cell elongation and secondary cell wall formation in phloem fibers and also data indicating diffuse type of cell enlargement during intrusive growth are presented.
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