Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 9, pp 1144–1152 | Cite as

ESCRTing in cereals: still a long way to go

  • Verena IblEmail author


The multivesicular body (MVB) sorting pathway provides a mechanism for the delivery of cargo destined for degradation to the vacuole or lysosome. The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) is essential for the MVB sorting pathway by driving the cargo sorting to its destination. Many efforts in plant research have identified the ESCRT machinery and functionally characterised the first plant ESCRT proteins. However, most studies have been performed in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana that is genetically and physiologically different to crops. Cereal crops are important for animal feed and human nutrition and have further been utilized as promising candidates for recombinant protein production. In this review, I summarize the role of plant ESCRT components in cereals that are involved in efficient adaptation to environmental stress and grain development. A special focus is on barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) ESCRT proteins, where recent studies show their quantitative mapping during grain development, e.g. associating HvSNF7.1 with protein trafficking to protein bodies (PBs) in starchy endosperm. Thus, it is indispensable to identify the molecular key-players within the endomembrane system including ESCRT proteins to optimize and possibly enhance tolerance to environmental stress, grain yield and recombinant protein production in cereal grains.


ESCRT cereal barley grain endosperm SNF7 abiotic stress biotic stress 



This work was financially supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF (P29454-B22, P29303-B22). I thank Dr. Alois Schweighofer for critical reading of the manuscript.

Compliance and ethics The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11427_2019_9572_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (392 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 392 KB.


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© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecogenomics and Systems BiologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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