Programmed cell death (PCD) has well-established roles in the development and physiology of animals, plants, and fungi. Although aspects of PCD control appear evolutionarily conserved between these organisms, the extent of conservation remains controversial. Recently, a putative bacterial PCD protein homolog in plants was found to play a significant role in cell death control, indicating a conservation of function between these highly divergent organisms. Interestingly, these bacterial proteins are thought to be evolutionarily linked to the Bcl-2 family of proteins. In this opinion article, we propose a new unifying model to describe the relationship between bacterial and plant PCD systems and propose that the underlying control of PCD is conserved across at least three Kingdoms of life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science