Stress granules (SGs) are cytoplasmic biomolecular condensates of nontranslating mRNAs and diverse proteins playing a pro-survival role during stress perception. Formation of SGs has been described in a wide variety of stresses, indicating that the assembly of these molecular condensates is a common pathway during stress perception. In addition, SGs have been visualized in all eukaryote species analysed so far, such as insects, mammalian cells, yeasts or plants, suggesting that assembly of these foci is a universal and conserved strategy across multiple organisms. Nonetheless, the molecular mechanisms underlying pro-survival effects of SGs on cell physiology remain still elusive.
In contrast to the prominence of research on stress granule in animal and yeast models, in plants, SGs have only received limited attention. The lack of studies on plant SGs is surprising, considering the importance of these molecular condensates for the cell fate. Despite recent advances, the reduced numbers of studies on SG biology performed in plants make it difficult to establish the molecular mechanisms by which these complexes interfiere in the plant stress response. Our goal is to establish a profound conceptual and experimental framework allowing us to understand the molecular pathways underlying formation of SGs in plants, which will be used as a basis to finally demonstrate how the formation of these condensates promotes stress resistance and cell survival. Formation of plant stress granule is shown below, see lab figures.