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J Exp Bot. 2018 Feb 12;69(4):741-750. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erx234.

Vacuolar degradation of chloroplast components: autophagy and beyond.

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Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology and Departments of Botany and Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA.


Chloroplast degradation during natural or stress-induced senescence requires the participation of both plastidic and extraplastidic degradative pathways. As part of the extraplastidic pathways, chloroplasts export stroma, envelope, and thylakoid proteins in membrane-bound organelles that are ultimately degraded in vacuoles. Some of these pathways, such as the formation of senescence-associated vacuoles (SAVs) and CV-containing vesicles (CCVs), do not depend on autophagy, whereas delivery of Rubisco-containing bodies (RCBs), ATI1-PS (ATG8-interacting Protein 1) bodies, and small starch-like granule (SSLG) bodies is autophagy dependent. In addition, autophagy of entire chloroplasts delivers damaged chloroplasts into the vacuolar lumen for degradation. This review summarizes the autophagy-dependent and independent trafficking mechanisms by which plant cells degrade chloroplast components in vacuoles.


Autophagy; CV vesicles; chlorophagy; chloroplast; senescence; senescence-associated vacuoles; starch


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