Simplification of vacuole structure during plant cell death triggered by culture filtrates of Erwinia carotovora

J Integr Plant Biol. 2015 Jan;57(1):127-35. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12304.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Culture Media
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Pectobacterium carotovorum / physiology*
  • Plant Cells / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco / cytology*
  • Vacuoles / metabolism*


  • Culture Media