Selective autophagy in the aid of plant germination and response to nutrient starvation

Arik Honig, Tamar Avin-Wittenberg, Gad Galili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Selective autophagy, mediated by Atg8 binding proteins, has not been extensively studied in plants. Plants possess a large gene family encoding multiple isoforms of the Atg8 protein. We have recently reported the identification of two new, closely homologous Arabidopsis thaliana plant proteins that bind the Arabidopsis Atg8f protein isoform. These two proteins are specific to plants and have no homologs in nonplant organisms. The expression levels of the genes encoding these proteins are elevated during carbon starvation and also during late stages of seed development. Exposure of young seedlings to carbon starvation induces the production of a newly identified compartment decorated by these Atg8-binding proteins. This compartment dynamically moves along the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and is also finally transported into the vacuole. Enhanced or suppressed expression of these Atg8-binding proteins respectively enhances or suppresses seed germination under suboptimal germination conditions, indicating that they contribute to seed germination vigor.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)838-839
Number of pages2
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Our research was supported by grants from The Israel Science Foundation (Grant 764/ 07), the J & R Center for Scientific Research at The Weizmann Institute of Science, and the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture. G.G. is an incumbent of the Bronfman Chair of Plant Science at The Weizmann Institute of Science.


  • Arabidopsis
  • Atg8
  • Plants
  • Selective autophagy
  • Stress


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