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Forskningsartikel2018Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Autophagy counteracts instantaneous cell death during seasonal senescence of the fine roots and leaves in Populus trichocarpa

Wojciechowska, Natalia; Marzec-Schmidt, Katarzyna; Kalemba, Ewa M.; Zarzynska-Nowak, Aleksandra; Jagodzinski, Andrzej M.; Bagniewska-Zadworna, Agnieszka


BackgroundSenescence, despite its destructive character, is a process that is precisely-regulated. The control of senescence is required to achieve remobilization of resources, a principle aspect of senescence. Remobilization allows plants to recapture valuable resources that would otherwise be lost to the environment with the senescing organ. Autophagy is one of the critical processes that is switched on during senescence. This evolutionarily conserved process plays dual, antagonistic roles. On the one hand, it counteracts instantaneous cell death and allows the process of remobilization to be set in motion, while on the other hand, it participates in the degradation of cellular components. Autophagy has been demonstrated to occur in many plant species during the senescence of leaves and flower petals. Little is known, however, about the senescence process in other ephemeral organs, such as fine roots, whose lifespan is also relatively short. We hypothesized that, like the case of seasonal leaf senescence, autophagy also plays a role in the senescence of fine roots, and that both processes are synchronized in their timing.ResultsWe evaluated which morphological and cytological symptoms are universal or unique in the senescence of fine roots and leaves. The results of our study confirmed that autophagy plays a key role in the senescence of fine roots, and is associated also with the process of cellular components degradation. In both organs, structures related to autophagy were observed, such as autophagic bodies and autophagosomes. The role of autophagy in the senescence of these plant organs was further confirmed by an analysis of ATG gene expression and protein detection.ConclusionsThe present study is the first one to examine molecular mechanisms associated with the senescence of fine roots, and provide evidence that can be used to determine whether senescence of fine roots can be treated as another example of developmentally programmed cell death (dPCD). Our results indicate that there is a strong similarity between the senescence of fine roots and other ephemeral organs, suggesting that this process occurs by the same autophagy-related mechanisms in all plant ephemeral organs.


Autophagy; ATG genes; ATG8 protein; Senescence; Leaves; Fine roots

Publicerad i

BMC Plant Biology
2018, Volym: 18, artikelnummer: 260
Utgivare: BMC

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