Autophagy: an essential though still underexplored cellular process in seeds

Autophagy is a cellular mechanism involved in the degradation and recycling of cellular components in eukaryotic organisms. The importance of autophagy in plant vegetative development has been extensively documented, linking it to processes such as leaf senescence and in response to environmental stress, triggered by both abiotic and biotic factors. Autophagy in the seed is an underexplored process, although recent findings have put the spotlight on its study.

In this Perspective article, researchers Raquel Iglesias-Fernández and Jesús Vicente-Carbajosa compile and discuss recent work on the relevance of autophagy in two central processes of seed biology: (i) protein accumulation during seed maturation and (ii) reserve mobilization during seed imbibition. Finally, they also consider the role of autophagy in seeds in response to environmental fluctuations, as well as its involvement in the control of seed dormancy and germination.


Original Paper:

Iglesias-Fernández, R., Vicente-Carbajosa, J. 2022. A View into Seed Autophagy: From Development to Environmental Responses. Plants 11, 3247. DOI: 10.3390/plants11233247