Autophagy in development and stress responses of plants

Autophagy. Jan-Mar 2006;2(1):2-11. doi: 10.4161/auto.2092. Epub 2006 Jan 9.


The uptake and degradation of cytoplasmic material by vacuolar autophagy in plants has been studied extensively by electron microscopy and shown to be involved in developmental processes such as vacuole formation, deposition of seed storage proteins and senescence, and in the response of plants to nutrient starvation and to pathogens. The isolation of genes required for autophagy in yeast has allowed the identification of many of the corresponding Arabidopsis genes based on sequence similarity. Knockout mutations in some of these Arabidopsis genes have revealed physiological roles for autophagy in nutrient recycling during nitrogen deficiency and in senescence. Recently, markers for monitoring autophagy in whole plants have been developed, opening the way for future studies to decipher the mechanisms and pathways of autophagy, and the function of these pathways in plant development and stress responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / chemistry
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / analysis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Autophagy* / genetics
  • Autophagy* / physiology
  • Genes, Plant / physiology*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins