Vacuoles are suggested to play crucial roles in plant defense-related cell death. During programmed cell death, previous live cell imaging studies have observed vacuoles to become simpler in structure and have implicated this simplification as a prelude to the vacuole's rupture and consequent lysis of the plasma membrane. Here, we examined dynamics of the vacuole in cell cycle-synchronized tobacco BY-2 (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Bright Yellow 2) cells during cell death induced by application of culture filtrates of Erwinia carotovora. The filtrate induced death in about 90% of the cells by 24 h. Prior to cell death, vacuole shape simplified and endoplasmic actin filaments disassembled; however, the vacuoles did not rupture until after plasma membrane integrity was lost. Instead of facilitating rupture, the simplification of vacuole structure might play a role in the retrieval of membrane components needed for defense-related cell death.
Keywords: Actin filaments; Erwinia carotovora; defense-related cell death; tobacco BY-2 cells; vacuoles.
© 2014 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.