Roles of autophagy in chloroplast recycling

Hiroyuki Ishida, Masanori Izumi, Shinya Wada, Amane Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Chloroplasts are the primary energy suppliers for plants, and much of the total leaf nitrogen is distributed to these organelles. During growth and reproduction, chloroplasts in turn represent a major source of nitrogen to be recovered from senescing leaves and used in newly-forming and storage organs. Chloroplast proteins also can be an alternative substrate for respiration under suboptimal conditions. Autophagy is a process of bulk degradation and nutrient sequestration that is conserved in all eukaryotes. Autophagy can selectively target chloroplasts as whole organelles and or as Rubisco-containing bodies that are enclosed by the envelope and specifically contain the stromal portion of the chloroplast. Although information is still limited, recent work indicates that chloroplast recycling via autophagy plays important roles not only in developmental processes but also in organelle quality control and adaptation to changing environments. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Dynamic and ultrastructure of bioenergetic membranes and their components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-521
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr


  • Autophagy
  • Chloroplast
  • Leaf senescence
  • Nutrient recycling
  • Rubisco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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