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International Journal of Plant Genomics
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 451357, 14 pages
Review Article

Techniques to Study Autophagy in Plants

Biological Science and Bioengineering Program, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabanci University, Orhanli, Tuzla 34956, Istanbul, Turkey

Received 7 December 2008; Revised 15 May 2009; Accepted 18 June 2009

Academic Editor: Boulos Chalhoub

Copyright © 2009 Géraldine Mitou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autophagy (or self eating), a cellular recycling mechanism, became the center of interest and subject of intensive research in recent years. Development of new molecular techniques allowed the study of this biological phenomenon in various model organisms ranging from yeast to plants and mammals. Accumulating data provide evidence that autophagy is involved in a spectrum of biological mechanisms including plant growth, development, response to stress, and defense against pathogens. In this review, we briefly summarize general and plant-related autophagy studies, and explain techniques commonly used to study autophagy. We also try to extrapolate how autophagy techniques used in other organisms may be adapted to plant studies.