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Plant autophagy & plant development

Why autophagy?

Autophagy is a catabolic pathway that ensures sustainability of a eukaryotic cell. It recycles cellular content, keeping the cell functional and reducing its requirement for outsourced energy and nutrients.

Autophagy sequesters cellular content into a newly build double membrane vesicles, called autophagosomes, and deliveres them to a lytic compartment for degradation. The products of degradation are then recycled by the cell (1). It is an extremely interesting example of a mechanism conserved among almost all eukaryotes (23) and shaped to fit different life strategies. 

Autophagy (from the Greek αὐτόφαγος, autóphagos - self-eating)

Why plant development?

Plants are sessile organisms, they cannot move away from bad weather or walk towards nutrients. Instead plants evolved an unprecedented skill to adapt. I am interested in uncovering  how the catabolic power of plant autophagy is weaved into the plant phenotypic plasticity and how could we fine-tune it to make our crops better.

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