• Open Access

Autophagy mediates caloric restriction-induced lifespan extension in Arabidopsis

Authors

  • Elena A. Minina,

    1. Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center for Plant Biology, Uppsala, Sweden
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    • These authors contributed equally.
  • Victoria Sanchez-Vera,

    1. Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center for Plant Biology, Uppsala, Sweden
    2. Departamento de Biologia Molecular y Bioquimica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Malaga, Malaga, Spain
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    • These authors contributed equally.
  • Panagiotis N. Moschou,

    1. Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center for Plant Biology, Uppsala, Sweden
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  • Maria F. Suarez,

    1. Departamento de Biologia Molecular y Bioquimica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Malaga, Malaga, Spain
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  • Eva Sundberg,

    1. Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center for Plant Biology, Uppsala, Sweden
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  • Martin Weih,

    1. Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center for Plant Biology, Uppsala, Sweden
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  • Peter V. Bozhkov

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center for Plant Biology, Uppsala, Sweden
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Correspondence

Peter V. Bozhkov, Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center for Plant Biology, PO Box 7080, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden. Tel.: +46 18 673228; fax: +46 18 673389; e-mail: peter.bozhkov@slu.se

Summary

Caloric restriction (CR) extends lifespan in various heterotrophic organisms ranging from yeasts to mammals, but whether a similar phenomenon occurs in plants remains unknown. Plants are autotrophs and use their photosynthetic machinery to convert light energy into the chemical energy of glucose and other organic compounds. As the rate of photosynthesis is proportional to the level of photosynthetically active radiation, the CR in plants can be modeled by lowering light intensity. Here, we report that low light intensity extends the lifespan in Arabidopsis through the mechanisms triggering autophagy, the major catabolic process that recycles damaged and potentially harmful cellular material. Knockout of autophagy-related genes results in the short lifespan and suppression of the lifespan-extending effect of the CR. Our data demonstrate that the autophagy-dependent mechanism of CR-induced lifespan extension is conserved between autotrophs and heterotrophs.

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