Mitochondria and cell death

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This chapter discusses the current body of evidence that supports a role for mitochondria in plant cell death. In plants, a reduction of mitochondrial function and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels by suppression of autophagy triggered necrosis instead of developmental programmed cell death (PCD). PCD is found to be closely associated with mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) production in plants. A key mechanism of PCD in animal systems is the excessive swelling of mitochondria; a phenomenon termed the mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT). Mitochondria are known to trigger nuclear gene expression of stress-related genes and significant evidence points towards a role for ROS in getting signals out of the mitochondria. Many pro- and antiapoptotic proteins that are associated with mitochondria were identified in non-plant systems, and a push in the plant field was initiated to find out how much of this mitochondrial pathway is conserved. Plant mitochondria become an increasingly important metabolic hub during developmental leaf senescence.


External organisations
  • University of Western Australia, Crawley
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Botany
  • Cell Biology


  • Autophagy, Developmental leaf senescence, Mitochondrial permeability transition pore, Mitochondrial programmed cell death pathway conservation, Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species role
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Plant Reviews, Volume 50
Subtitle of host publicationPlant Mitochondria, Second Edition
PublisherInterscience Wiley
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781118906583
ISBN (Print)9781118906576
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch