Group Dagdas

Molecular mechanisms of aggrephagy in plants

Group Leader

Yasin Dagdas

Yasin Dagdas is a Group Leader at the Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology (GMI) since 2017. Prior to that, he was a postdoc at The Sainsbury Laboratory, UK. He did his PhD at University of Exeter, UK.

Projects within consortium

Plants are constantly challenged with changes in their environment and have evolved an amazing capability to acclimatize to environmental disturbances. Despite clear genetic evidence demonstrating a key role for autophagy in heat stress tolerance, the molecular details remain elusive. Here, we will investigate mechanisms of aggrephagy to understand how autophagy protects plant cells against heat stress.

Temporary cellular reprogramming, where the cellular contents are remodeled to stay in tune with the environment is crucial for cellular adaptation. Despite extensive efforts in understanding the gene regulatory networks or hormonal regulation that underlie temporary reprogramming, how the cellular contents are remodeled or renovated has remained elusive. Here, we propose to study the role of autophagy in temporary reprogramming triggered during heat stress by characterizing a novel selective autophagy receptor that we have recently discovered. Our studies will reveal significant insights on how plants employ autophagy to fight with heat stress and pave the way for future studies that aim at improving crop resilience to heat waves.


Plants, like other eukaryotic organisms, employ selective autophagy for clearing protein aggregates, a process known as aggrephagy. But the nature of these aggregates, why they hinder plant fitness, and the mechanistic basis of plant aggrephagy remains largely unknown. Furthermore, the crosstalk between aggrephagy and other proteostasis systems needs further investigation.


Here, together with Martens, Clausen, Ramundo, Haselbach, and Becker Labs, we will perform (i) chemical biology and in vitro reconstitution experiments, (ii) cargo receptor transfer studies, and (iii) in depth analysis of aging and heat stress damaged proteome analysis of plants to understand the molecular basis of aggrephagy in plants.


Altogether, our studies will reveal, how autophagy protects plant cells against heat stress and provide insights on plant aging and stress tolerance.

Project members

  • PhD Student

    Marintia Nava


  • PhD Student

    Victor Sanchez de Medina

    SFB Member

  • PhD Student

    Alibek Abdrakhmanov

    SFB Member

  • Research assistant

    Nenad Grujic


Targeted Protein Degradation related publications by Group Dagdas

  • 2023 Shuffled ATG8 interacting motifs form an ancestral bridge between UFMylation and C53-mediated autophagy EMBO Journal Picchianti L, Sánchez de Medina Hernández V, Zhan N, Irwin NAT, Stephani M, Hornegger H, Beveridge R, Sawa-Makarska J, Lendl T, Grujic N, Martens S, Richards TA, Clausen T, Ramundo S, Karagöz E, Dagdas Y Go to publication →
  • 2022 Characterization of ATG8-Family Interactors by Isothermal Titration Calorimetry Methods in Molecular Biology Picchianti L, Sedivy A, Dagdas Y Go to publication →
  • 2022 Plant autophagosomes mature into amphisomes prior to their delivery to the central vacuole Journal of Cell Biology Zhao J, Bui MT, Ma J, Künzl F, Picchianti L, De La Concepcion JC, Chen Y, Petsangouraki S, Mohseni A, García-Leon M, Gomez MS, Giannini C, Gwennogan D, Kobylinska R, Clavel M, Schellmann S, Jaillais Y, Friml J, Kang BH, Dagdas Y Go to publication →
  • 2022 Autophagy promotes programmed cell death and corpse clearance in specific cell types of the Arabidopsis root cap Current Biology Feng Q, De Rycke R, Dagdas Y, Nowack MK Go to publication →
  • 2022 Molecular mechanisms of endomembrane trafficking in plants Plant Cell Aniento F, Sánchez de Medina Hernández V, Dagdas Y, Rojas-Pierce M, Russinova E Go to publication →
  • 2021 Proteasome and selective autophagy: Brothers-in-arms for organelle quality control Current Opinion in Plant Biology Clavel M, Dagdas Y Go to publication →
  • 2021 An oomycete effector subverts host vesicle trafficking to channel starvation-induced autophagy to the pathogen interface eLife Pandey P, Leary AY, Tumtas Y, Savage Z, Dagvadorj B, Duggan C, Yuen EL, Sanguankiattichai N, Tan E, Khandare V, Connerton AJ, Yunusov T, Madalinski M, Mirkin FG, Schornack S, Dagdas Y, Kamoun S, Bozkurt TO Go to publication →
  • 2020 EXO70D isoforms mediate selective autophagic degradation of type-A ARR proteins to regulate cytokinin sensitivity Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Acheampong AK, Shanks C, Cheng CY, Schaller GE, Dagdas Y, Kieber JJ Go to publication →
  • 2020 A cross-kingdom conserved ER-phagy receptor maintains endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis during stress eLife Stephani M, Picchianti L, Gajic A, Beveridge R, Skarwan R, Sanchez de Medina Hernandez V, Mohseni A, Clavel M, Zeng Y, Naumann C, Matuszkiewicz M, Turco E, Loefke C, Li B, Durnberger G, Schutzbier M, Chen HT, Abdrakhmanov A, Savova A, Chia KS, Djamei A, Schaffner I, Abel S, Jiang L, Mechtler K, Ikeda F, Martens S, Clausen T, Dagdas Y Go to publication →
  • 2020 Autophagy mediates temporary reprogramming and dedifferentiation in plant somatic cells EMBO Journal Rodriguez E, Chevalier J, Olsen J, Ansbøl J, Kapousidou V, Zuo Z, Svenning S, Loefke C, Koemeda S, Drozdowskyj PS, Jez J, Durnberger G, Kuenzl F, Schutzbier M, Mechtler K, Ebstrup EN, Lolle S, Dagdas Y*, Petersen M* Go to publication →
  • 2019 N-terminal β-strand underpins biochemical specialization of an ATG8 isoform PLoS Biology Zess EK, Jensen C, Cruz-Mireles N, De la Concepcion JC, Sklenar J, Stephani M, Imre R, Roitinger E, Hughes R, Belhaj K, Mechtler K, Menke FLH, Bozkurt T, Banfield MJ, Kamoun S, Maqbool A, Dagdas YF Go to publication →
  • 2018 Host autophagy machinery is diverted to the pathogen interface to mediate focal defense responses against the Irish potato famine pathogen eLife Dagdas YF*, Pandey P*, Tumtas Y, Sanguankiattichai N, Belhaj K, Duggan C, Leary AY, Segretin ME, Contreras MP, Savage Z, Khandare VS, Kamoun S, Bozkurt TO Go to publication →
  • 2016 Structural Basis of Host Autophagy-related Protein 8 (ATG8) Binding by the Irish Potato Famine Pathogen Effector Protein PexRD54 J. Biol. Chem. Maqbool A, Hughes RK, Dagdas YF, Tregidgo N, Zess E, Belhaj K, Round A, Bozkurt TO, Kamoun S, Banfield MJ Go to publication →
  • 2016 An effector of the Irish potato famine pathogen antagonizes a host autophagy cargo receptor eLife Dagdas YF*, Belhaj K*, Maqbool A, Chaparro-Garcia A, Pandey P, Petre B, Tabassum N, Cruz-Mireles N, Hughes RK, Sklenar J, Win J, Menke F, Findlay K, Banfield MJ, Kamoun S, Bozkurt TO Go to publication →