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Peter Bozhkov

Peter Bozhkov
We are interested in the mechanisms and function of catabolic processes during plant development, aging and stress response at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels. We study autophagy, proteolysis and biomolecular condensates, in particular stress granules. For more information, please visit webpage of The Plant Catabolism Laboratories at


Positions and degrees      
2015-current: Full professor/Chair of Biochemistry; Department of Molecular Sciences, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

2005-2015: Group leader and Associate Professor (since 2009), Department of Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

1997-2004: Researcher, Department of Forest Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

1996: Visiting researcher, Laboratory of Forest Genetics, Kyungpook National University, Taegu, South Korea

1994-95: Laboratory director; Laboratory of Plant Cell Physiology, Chemical-Pharmaceutical Institute, St.Petersburg

1987-94: Research officer, Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Physiology, Institute of Forestry, St.Petersburg

1994: PhD in Plant Physiology, Botanical Institute, St.Petersburg

1987: MSc in Forest Science, St. Petersburg Forest Academy, St.Petersburg, Russian Federation

Selected publications

Gutierrez-Beltran E, Strader L, Bozhkov P. (2023) Focus on biomolecular condensates. Plant Cell. doi: 10.1093/plcell/koad182.

Xie Z, Zhao S, Li Y, Deng Y, Shi Y, Chen X, Li Y, Li H, Chen C, Wang X, Liu E, Tu Y, Shi P, Tong J, Gutierrez-Beltran E, Li J, Bozhkov PV, Qian W, Zhou M, Wang W. Phenolic acid-induced phase separation and translation inhibition mediate plant interspecific competition. (2023) Nat Plants. doi: 10.1038/s41477-023-01499-6. 

Solis-Miranda J, Chodasiewicz M, Skirycz A, Fernie AR, Moschou PN, Bozhkov PV, Gutierrez-Beltran E (2023) Stress-related biomolecular condensates in plants. Plant Cell. doi: 10.1093/plcell/koad127.

Mountourakis F, Hatzianestis IH, Stavridou S, Bozhkov PV, Moschou PN (2023) Concentrating and sequestering biomolecules in condensates: impact on plant biology. J Exp Bot. 74(5):1303-1308. 

Stael S, Sabljić I, Audenaert D, Andersson T, Tsiatsiani L, Kumpf RP, Vidal-Albalat A, Lindgren C, Vercammen D, Jacques S, Nguyen L, Njo M, Fernández-Fernández ÁD, Beunens T, Timmerman E, Gevaert K, Van Montagu M, Ståhlberg J, Bozhkov PV, Linusson A, Beeckman T, Van Breusegem F (2023) Structure-function study of a Ca2+-independent metacaspase involved in lateral root emergence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 120(22):e2303480120. 

Zou Y, Bozhkov PV (2021) Chlamydomonas proteases: classification, phylogeny, and molecular mechanisms. J Exp Bot. 72(22):7680-7693. 

Gutierrez-Beltran E, Elander PH, Dalman K, Dayhoff GW 2nd, Moschou PN, Uversky VN, Crespo JL, Bozhkov PV (2021) Tudor staphylococcal nuclease is a docking platform for stress granule components and is essential for SnRK1 activation in Arabidopsis. EMBO Journal e105043

Minina, EA., Dauphinee, A.N, Ballhaus F., Gogvadze V., Smertenko A.P., Bozhkov PV (2021) Apoptosis is not conserved in plants as revealed by critical examination of a model for plant apoptosis-like cell death. BMC Biology 19, 100

Minina EA, Staal J, Alvarez VE, Berges JA, Berman-Frank I, Beyaert R, Bidle KD, Bornancin F, Casanova M, Cazzulo J, Choi CJ, Coll NS, Dixit VM, Dolinar M, Fasel N, Funk C, Gallois P, Gevaert K, Gutierrez-Beltran E, Hailfinger S, Klemencic M, Koonin EV, Krappmann D, Linusson A, Machado M, Madeo F, Megeney LA, Moschou PN, Mottra, JC, Nyström T, Osiewacz HD, Overall CM, Pandey KC, Ruland J, Salvesen GS, Shi Y, Smertenko A, Stael S, Ståhlberg J, Suarez MF, Thome M, Tuominen H, Van Breusegem F, van der Hoorn RAL, Vardi A, Zhivotovsky B, Lam E and Bozhkov PV (2020) Classification and Nomencalture of Metacaspases and Paracaspases: No More Confusion with Caspases. Mol Cell 77, 927-929.

Dauphinee AN, Cardoso C, Dalman K, Ohlsson JA, Berglund Fick S, Robert S, Hicks GR, Bozhkov PV, Minina EA (2019) Chemical screening pipeline for identification of specific plant autophagy modulators (Breakthrough technologies). Plant Physiol 181, 855–866 (Recommended by F1000Prime)

Minina EA, Moschou PN, Vetukuri RR, Sanchez-Vera V, Cardoso C, Liu Q, Elander PH, Dalman K, Beganovic M, Yilmaz JL, Marmon S, Shabala L, Suarez MF, Ljung K, Novák O, Shabala S, Stymne S, Hofius D  and Bozhkov PV (2018) Transcriptional stimulation of rate-limiting components of the autophagic pathway improves plant fitness. J Exp Bot 69, 1415-1432.

Minina EA, Moschou PN, and Bozhkov PV (2017) Limited and digestive proteolysis: crosstalk between evolutionary conserved pathways . New Phytologist 215, 958–964.

Minina EA, Coll NS, Tuominen H and Bozhkov PV (2017) Metacaspases versus caspases in development and cell fate regulation. Cell Death and Differentiation 24, 1314–1325.

Minina EA, Reza SH, Gutierrez-Beltran E, Elander P, Bozhkov PV and Moschou PN (2017) Arabidopsis homologue of Scc4/MAU2 is essential for plant embryogenesis. J Cell Sci 130: 1051-1063.

Moschou PN, Gutierrez-Beltran E, Bozhkov PV, Smertenko AP (2016) Separase Promotes Microtubule Polymerization by Activating CENP-E-Related Kinesin Kin7. Developmental Cell 37: 350-361.

Moschou PN, Savenkov EI, Minina EA,Fukada K, Reza SH, Gutierrez-Beltran E, Sanchez-Vera V, Suarez MF, Hussey P, Smertenko AP and Bozhkov PV (2016) EXTRA SPINDLE POLES (Separase)controls anisotropic cell expansion in Norway spruce (Picea abies) embryos independently from its role in anaphase progression. New Phytologist 212: 232-243.

Gutierrez-Beltran E, Denisenko TV, Zhivotovsky B and Bozhkov PV (2016) Tudor Staphylococcal Nuclease: biochemistry and functions. Cell Death and Differentiation 23, 1739-1748.

Gutierrez-Beltran E, Moschou PN, Smertenko AP and Bozhkov PV (2015) Tudor Staphylococcal Nuclease Links Formation of Stress Granules and Processing Bodies with mRNA Catabolism in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 27: 926-943.

Book: P. Bozhkov and G. Salvesen (Editors) (2014) Caspases, Paracaspases and Metacaspases. Series: Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 1133 Humana Press. ISBN 978-1-4939-0356-6

Smertenko A and Bozhkov PV (2014) Somatic embryogenesis: balancing life and death processes during apical-basal patterning. J Exp Bot. 65: 1343-1360.

Minina E, Filonova L, Fukada K, Savenkov EI, Sanchez-Vera V, Suarez MF, Daniel G, Clapham D, Gogvadze V, Zhivotovsky B, Smertenko AP and Bozhkov PV (2013) Metacaspase and autophagy determine the mode of plant cell death. J Cell Biol. 203: 917-927

Peng Zhao, Xue-mei Zhou, Li-yao Zhang, Wei Wang, Li-gang Ma, Li-bo Yang, Xiong-bo Peng, Bozhkov PV, Meng-xiang Sun. (2013) A bipartite molecular module controls cell death activation in the basal cell lineage of plant embryos. PLOS Biol 11(9): e1001655.

Minina EA, Sanchez-Vera V, Moschou PN, Suarez MF, Sundberg E, Weih M and Bozhkov PV. (2013) Autophagy mediates caloric restriction-induced lifespan extension in Arabidopsis. Aging Cell 12: 327-329.

Moschou PN, Smertenko AP, Fukada K, Savenkov EI, Minina EA, Robert S, Hussey PJ, Bozhkov PV (2013) The Caspase-Related Protease Separase (EXTRA SPINDLE POLES) Regulates Cell Polarity and Cytokinesis in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 25: 2171-2186

Van Doorn W, Beers E, DanglJ, Franklin-Tong V, Gallois P, Hara-Nishimura I, Jones A, Kawai-Yamada M, Lam E, Mundy J, Mur L, Petersen M, Smertenko A, Taliansky M, Van Breusegem F, Wolpert T, Woltering E, Zhivotovsky B, Bozhkov PV. (2011) Morphological classification of plant cell deaths. Cell Death and Differentiation 18: 1241-1246.

Tsiatsiani L, Van Breusegem F, Gallois P, Zavialov A, Lam E and Bozhkov PV (2011) Metacaspases. Cell Death and Differentiation 18: 1279-1288.

Bozhkov PV, Smertenko AP and Zhivotovsky B (2010) Aspasing out metacaspases and caspases: proteases of many trades. Science Signaling, 3: pe48.

Sundström J, Vaculova A, Smertenko AP, Savenkov EI, Golovko A, Minina E, Tiwari BS, Rodriguez-Nieto S, Zamyatnin AAJr, Välineva T, Saarikettu J, Frilander MJ, Suarez MF, Zavialov A, Ståhl U, Hussey PJ, Silvennoinen O, Sundberg E, Zhivotovsky B, and Bozhkov PV (2009) Tudor staphylococcal nuclease is an evolutionarily conserved component of the programmed cell death degradome. Nature Cell Biology 11: 1347-1354.

Helmersson A, von Arnold S and Bozhkov PV (2008) The level of free intracellular zinc mediates programmed cell death/cell survival decisions in plant embryos. Plant Physiology 147: 1158-1167.

Bozhkov PV, Suarez MF, Filonova LH, Daniel G, Zamyatnin AA Jr, Rodriguez-Nieto S, Zhivotovsky B and Smertenko A. (2005) Cysteine protease mcII-Pa executes programmed cell death during plant embryogenesis. PNAS 102: 14463-14468.

Bozhkov PV, Suarez MF and Filonova LH. (2005) Programmed cell death in plant embryogenesis. Current Topics in Developmental Biology 67: 135-179.

Suarez MF, Filonova LH, Smertenko A, Savenkov EI, Clapham DH, von Arnold S, Zhivotovsky B and Bozhkov PV. (2004) Metacaspase-dependent programmed cell death is essential for plant embryogenesis. Current Biology 14: R339-R340.

Bozhkov PV, Filonova LH, Suarez MF, Helmersson A, Smertenko AP, Zhivotovsky B and von Arnold S. (2004) VEIDase is a principal caspase-like activity involved in plant programmed cell death and essential for embryonic pattern formation. Cell Death and Differentiation. 11: 175-182.

Filonova LH, von Arnold S, Daniel G and Bozhkov PV (2002) Programmed cell death eliminates all but one embryo in a polyembryonic plant seed. Cell Death and Differentiation 9: 1057-1062.

Bozhkov PV,Filonova LH and von Arnold S (2002) A key developmental switch during Norway spruce somatic embryogenesis is induced by withdrawal of growth regulators and is associated with cell death and extracellular acidification. Biotechnology & Bioengineering 77: 658-667.


Professor at the Department of Molecular Sciences; Biokemi
Telephone: +4618673228
Postal address:
Institutionen för molekylära vetenskaper
Box 7015
750 07 Uppsala
Visiting address: Almas allé 5, BioCentrum, Uppsala, Uppsala