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Programmed Cell Death in Plants: Insights Into developmental and Stress-Induced Cell Death


Heba T. Ebeed* and Ahmed A. El-helely  


Programmed cell death (PCD) is a fundamental genetically controlled process in most organisms. PCD is responsible for the selective elimination of damaged or unwanted cells and organs to maintain cellular homeostasis during the organ’s development under normal conditions as well as during defense or adaptation to stressful conditions. PCD pathways have been extensively studied in animals. In plants, studies focusing on understanding the pathways of PCD have advanced significantly. However, the knowledge about the molecular basis of PCD is still very limited. Some PCD pathways that have been discovered in animals are not present in plants or found with a similar form. PCD in plants is developmentally controlled (by endogenous factors) to function in organ development and differentiations as well as environmentally induced (by exogenous stimuli) to help the plant in surviving under stress conditions. Here, we present a review of the role of PCD in plant development and explore different examples of stress-induced PCD as well as highlight the main differences between the plant and animal PCD.


Autophagy, apoptosis, ferroptosis, hypersensitive response, programmed cell death, reactive oxygen species, vacuolar cell death, stress


Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Damietta University, Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Damietta University

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