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Title: Autophagy and multivesicular body pathways cooperate to protect sulfur assimilation and chloroplast functions

Autophagy and multivesicular bodies (MVBs) represent 2 closely related lysosomal/vacuolar degradation pathways. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), autophagy is stress-induced, with deficiency in autophagy causing strong defects in stress responses but limited effects on growth. LYST-INTERACTING PROTEIN 5 (LIP5) is a key regulator of stress-induced MVB biogenesis, and mutation of LIP5 also strongly compromises stress responses with little effect on growth in Arabidopsis. To determine the functional interactions of these 2 pathways in Arabidopsis, we generated mutations in both the LIP5 and AUTOPHAGY-RELATED PROTEIN (ATG) genes. atg5/lip5 and atg7/lip5 double mutants displayed strong synergistic phenotypes in fitness characterized by stunted growth, early senescence, reduced survival, and greatly diminished seed production under normal growth conditions. Transcriptome and metabolite analysis revealed that chloroplast sulfate assimilation was specifically downregulated at early seedling stages in the atg7/lip5 double mutant prior to the onset of visible phenotypes. Overexpression of adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate reductase 1, a key enzyme in sulfate assimilation, substantially improved the growth and fitness of the atg7/lip5 double mutant. Comparative multi-omic analysis further revealed that the atg7/lip5 double mutant was strongly compromised in other chloroplast functions including photosynthesis and primary carbon metabolism. Premature senescence and reduced survival of atg/lip5 double mutants were associated with increased accumulation of reactive oxygen species and overactivation of stress-associated programs. Blocking PHYTOALEXIN DEFICIENT 4 and salicylic acid signaling prevented early senescence and death of the atg7/lip5 double mutant. Thus, stress-responsive autophagy and MVB pathways play an important cooperative role in protecting essential chloroplast functions including sulfur assimilation under normal growth conditions to suppress salicylic-acid-dependent premature cell-death and promote plant growth and fitness.

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Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
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Journal Name:
Plant Physiology
Medium: X Size: p. 886-909
p. 886-909
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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