Special Issue "Degradation of Plant Organelles and Cell Remodeling during Autophagy"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Cell Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Olga V. Voitsekhovskaja
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Molecular and Ecological Physiology, Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Scienses, Professora Popova str., 2, Saint Petersburg, 197376, Russia
Interests: autophagy in plant cells; photosynthesis and photoprotection; phloem transport; plasmodesmata; plant signalling; compartmentation of metabolites

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Autophagy is a conserved catabolic program of degradation of cytoplasmic components in lytic acidic compartments, intrinsic to all eukaryotic cells. In plants, selective autophagy is an essential mechanism of quality control of organelles and elimination of dysfunctional cell constituents, thus maintaining cell homeostasis. Various abiotic stresses lead to a strong activation of autophagy, which, apart from clearance of damaged cell parts, enables bulk degradation of non-essential cell constituents providing energy and ‘building blocks’ for the maintenance of vital cell parts and functions. Autophagy involves a sophisticated cellular machinery, the core of which is formed by ATG proteins. Bulk autophagy results in large-scaled remodeling of cell structure and metabolism.

The pro-survival role of autophagy in plant cells during stress has been confirmed in many studies. Intriguingly, autophagy can be recruited to serve as a mechanism of programmed cell death (PCD) during development, and was suggested to play a similar role in some cases of stress-induced PCD. The fine-tuned interplay between autophagy and PCD during the plant immune response is critical for the resistance to diverse pathogens. This Special Issue invites research papers and reviews about the molecular and cellular mechanisms and regulators of autophagy, as well as the variety of roles autophagy plays in cells of plants and algae.

Dr. Olga V. Voitsekhovskaja
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • autophagy in plants and algae
  • degradation of plant organelles
  • selective autophagy receptors
  • signals and master regulators of autophagy
  • role of the cytoskeleton in autophagy
  • energy balance during autophagy
  • metabolic adjustments during autophagy
  • autophagy-associated proteome changes
  • interaction between autophagy and programmed cell death (PCD).

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Review

Review
ER-Phagy and Its Role in ER Homeostasis in Plants
Plants 2020, 9(12), 1771; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121771 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 977
Abstract
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the largest continuous membrane-bound cellular organelle and plays a central role in the biosynthesis of lipids and proteins and their distribution to other organelles. Autophagy is a conserved process that is required for recycling unwanted cellular components. Recent [...] Read more.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the largest continuous membrane-bound cellular organelle and plays a central role in the biosynthesis of lipids and proteins and their distribution to other organelles. Autophagy is a conserved process that is required for recycling unwanted cellular components. Recent studies have implicated the ER as a membrane source for the formation of autophagosomes, vesicles that transport material to the vacuole during autophagy. When unfolded proteins accumulate in the ER and/or the ER lipid bilayer is disrupted, a condition known as ER stress results. During ER stress, ER membranes can also be engulfed through autophagy in a process termed ER-phagy. An interplay between ER stress responses and autophagy thus maintains the functions of the ER to allow cellular survival. In this review, we discuss recent progress in understanding ER-phagy in plants, including identification of regulatory factors and selective autophagy receptors. We also identify key unanswered questions in plant ER-phagy for future study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation of Plant Organelles and Cell Remodeling during Autophagy)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: ER-phagy and its role in ER homeostasis in plants
Authors: Yan Bao; Diane C. Bassham
Affiliation: Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
Abstract: The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the largest continuous membrane-bound cellular organelle and plays a central role in the biosynthesis and distribution of lipids and proteins to other organelles. Autophagy is a conserved process that is required for recycling unwanted cellular components, and recent studies have implicated the ER as a membrane source for the formation of autophagosomes, vesicles that transport material to the vacuole during autophagy. Upon a condition known as ER stress, in which unfolded proteins accumulate in the ER and/or the ER lipid bilayer is disrupted, ER membranes can also be engulfed through autophagy, a process that is termed ER-phagy. An interplay between ER stress responses and autophagy thus maintains the functions of the ER to allow cellular survival. In this review, we discuss recent progress in understanding ER-phagy in plants, including identification of regulatory factors and selective autophagy receptors, and identify key unanswered questions in plant ER-phagy for future study.

Title: Program of the differentiation of cambium derivatives: comparison of two forms of silver birch that differ in the conducting tissues structure
Authors: Nataliya A. Galibina; Tatiana V. Tarelkina; Olga V. Chirva; Kseniya M. Nikerova; Yulia L. Moshchenskaya; Ludmila L. Novitskaya
Affiliation: Institute of Forestry, Karelian Research Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Petrozavodsk, Karelia, 185910, Russia
Abstract: Differentiation of cambial derivatives into the mature xylem elements includes cell enlargement, formation of secondary cell walls, and – for fibers and vessels – programmed cell death and autolysis of the cell content. Unlike poorly differentiated parenchyma cells, mature fibers and vessels are dead cells that consist only of cell walls. This study focuses on two forms of silver birch with contrasting characteristics of wood grain: common silver birch (B. pendula var. pendula) with straight-grained wood, and Karelian (curly) birch (B. pendula var. carelica) whose figured wood features a modified ratio of tissues fractions, such as a decreased number of vessels and an increased number of parenchyma cells. Karelian birch trees vary widely in the timing of the onset of figured wood formation, and in patterns of its development throughout ontogeny. In some trees, figured wood forms only on one side of the trunk. Thus, Karelian birch is a unique model for the study of xylogenesis as different growth scenarios can be investigated within the same tree trunk, excluding the influence of environmental factors. In our study, we addressed molecular mechanisms operating in the cambial zone during differentiation of vessels, fibers, and parenchyma cells, respectively, in two forms of silver birch. A special focus was placed on the role of (1) WOX4 homeodomain transcription factor, (2) auxin-dependent transcription factor MP/ARF5 promoting xylem production from cambial cells and regulating WOX4 expression, (3) NAC-domain transcription factors (VND, NST) that regulate secondary cell wall synthesis, development and differentiation of xylem cells, (4) comparison of the time course of activation of autolysis and programmed cell death during xylem differentiation in the two growth forms of silver birch.

Title: Biochemical and molecular mechanisms that regulate the heartwood formation in Scots pine
Authors: Nataliya A. Galibina; Kseniya M. Nikerova; Mariya A. Ershova; Olga V. Chirva; Tatiana V. Tarelkina; Sergey A. Moshnikov; Nikita V. Afoshin; Irina N. Sofronova; Yulia L. Moshchenskaya
Affiliation: Institute of Forestry, Karelian Research Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Petrozavodsk, Karelia, 185910, Russia
Abstract: Programmed cell death and autolysis of mechanical and water-conducting wood elements (xylem fibers and vessels, respectively) occur almost immediately after their differentiation. In contrast, the cells of the axial and radial parenchyma, which mainly perform a storage function, can remain alive for decades. The death of these long-lived cells, autolysis of their organelles and release of phenolic compounds that permeate the surrounding cell membranes, plays an important role in the formation of heartwood which has high economic value. In Scots pine plus trees, intensity of heartwood formation and changes in the metabolites were studied in different zones of the xylem along the radial vector «cambial zone – sapwood – transition zone – heartwood». The contents of the main sugar transport form, sucrose, and of its hydrolysis products glucose and fructose, as well as the levels of starch, cellulose and lignin were analyzed. Biochemical regulation of heartwood formation was addressed via determination of the activities of (1) sucrose-metabolizing enzymes, sucrose synthase and invertase, (2) the key enzyme of the shikimate pathway, phenylalanine ammonia lyase; (3) enzymes of reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism, peroxidase (POD) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO). Expression of the genes encoding (1) B-type CLE peptides and tracheary element differentiation inhibitory factor peptides (CLE41/44) and PXY, a receptor-like kinase regulating levels of cell division in the cambial zone, (2) phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), and (3) BFN-endonuclease (BFN) which controls programmed cell death, was analyzed. The data are discussed in the context of the importance of the biochemical and molecular regulation of heartwood formation in Scots pine.

Title: AZD8055, an inhibitor of TOR kinase, reveals a role of autophagy in Haematococcus pluvialis cell growth under salinity
Authors: Daria A. Zharova; Alexandra N. Ivanova; Irina V. Drozdova; Alla I. Belyaeva; Olga N. Boldina; Olga V. Voitsekhovskaja *; Elena V. Tyutereva
Affiliation: 1 Laboratory of Molecular and Ecological Physiology, Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Professora Popova 2, 197376 St.-Petersburg, Russia 2 Laboratory of Plant Anatomy, Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Professora Popova 2, 197376 St.-Petersburg, Russia 3 Research Park, St. Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya emb., 7/9, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia 4 Laboratory of Ecology of Plant Communities, Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Professora Popova 2, 197376 St.-Petersburg, Russia 5 Laboratory of Algology, Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Professora Popova 2, 197376 St.-Petersburg, Russia
Abstract: The microalga Haematococcus pluvialis is able to accumulate high amounts of the carotenoid astaxanthin in the course of adaptation to stresses like salinity. Technologies aimed at production of natural astaxanthin for commercial purposes often involve salinity stress; however, after a switch to stressful conditions, the H. pluvialis experiences massive cell death which negatively influences astaxanthin yield. This study addressed the possibility to improve cell survival in H. pluvialis subjected to salinity via manipulation of the levels of autophagy using AZD8055, a known inhibitor of TOR kinase previously shown to accelerate autophagy in several microalgae. Addition of NaCl in concentrations of 0.2 % or 0.8 % to the growth medium induced formation of autophagosomes in H. pluvialis, while simultaneous addition of AZD8055 up to a final concentration of 0.2 µM further stimulated this process. AZD8055 significantly improved the yield of H. pluvialis cells after 5 days of exposure to moderate, but not to high salt stress. Strikingly, this occurred by acceleration of cell growth, and not by acceleration of aplanospore formation. We concluded that during moderate salt stress, enhancement of autophagy in H. pluvialis serves cytoprotection while not significantly influencing the level of astaxanthin synthesis.

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