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Plant Cell Physiol. 2012 Aug;53(8):1355-65. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcs099. Epub 2012 Jul 3.

Beginning to understand autophagy, an intracellular self-degradation system in plants.

Author information

1
INRA, UMR1318, Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, RD10, F-78000 Versailles, France. kohki.yoshimoto@versailles.inra.fr

Abstract

Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved intracellular process for the vacuolar degradation of cytoplasmic components. There is no doubt that autophagy is very important to plant life, especially because plants are immobile and must survive in environmental extremes. Early studies of autophagy provided our first insights into the structural characteristics of the process in plants, but for a long time the molecular mechanisms and the physiological roles of autophagy were not understood. Genetic analyses of autophagy in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have greatly expanded our knowledge of the molecular aspects of autophagy in plants as well as in animals. Until recently our knowledge of plant autophagy was in its infancy compared with autophagy research in yeast and animals, but recent efforts by plant researchers have made many advances in our understanding of plant autophagy. Here I will introduce an overview of autophagy in plants, present current findings and discuss the physiological roles of self-degradation.

PMID:
22764279
DOI:
10.1093/pcp/pcs099
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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