Introduction: Lysis and the Lytic Compartment

  • Philippe Matile
Part of the Cell Biology Monographs book series (CELLBIOL, volume 1)


The metabolism of natural ecosystems is characterized by a balance between the primary production in the photoautotrophs and the utilization and eventual mineralization of primary products along the complex food chains. Obviously, the lytic phenomena such as degradation of macromolecular compounds produced in plants by herbivorous animals and in saprophytic microorganisms play a prominent role. It is often less appreciated that the plants themselves produce lytic enzymes that are capable of degrading their own cellular constituents. Hence, lysis must have a significant function in the plant’s own metabolism.


Lytic Enzyme Polar Process Abscission Zone Cellular Constituent Herbivorous Animal 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe Matile
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General BotanySwiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ)ZurichSwitzerland

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