Structure – function analysis of cutin and the cuticle in Arabidopsis


One of the important steps in the evolution of land plants is the formation of a primary barrier at the surface of aerial organs that limit the loss of water: the cuticle. The plant cuticle has evolved to a complex structure consisting of different lipid-derived compounds that plays a role in different aspects of plant biology ranging from stress protection to organ development. The research in our group is particularly directed on the elucidation of new components important for the formation of the cuticle and their significance for different cuticular functions. Arabidopsis thaliana is used as a model system for these studies.


Recent Publications

  • Mutant Muddle: Some Arabidopsis eds5 Mutant Lines Have a Previously Unnoticed Second-Site Mutation in FAH1
    Veeragoni, Sravani Ram; Lange, Birgit; Serrano, Mario; Nawrath, Christiane; Bauer, Sibylle; et al.
    Plant Physiology 182(1): 460-462, DOI: 10.1104/pp.19.01125, JAN 2020
  • The Root Cap Cuticle: A Cell Wall Structure for Seedling Establishment and Lateral Root Formation
    Berhin, A; de Bellis, D; Franke, RB; Buono, RA; Nowack, MK; Nawrath, C
    CELL, 176 (6):1367-+; 10.1016/j.cell.2019.01.005 MAR 7 2019
  • The beta-Ketoacyl-CoA Synthase HvKCS1, Encoded by Cer-zh, Plays a Key Role in Synthesis of Barley Leaf Wax and Germination of Barley Powdery Mildew
    Li, C; Haslam, TM; Kruger, A; Schneider, LM; Mishina, K; Samuels, L; Yan, HX; Kunst, L; Schaffrath, U; Nawrath, C; Chen, GX; Komatsuda, T; von Wettstein-Knowles, P
    PLANT AND CELL PHYSIOLOGY, 59 (4):806-822; 10.1093/pcp/pcy020 APR 2018
  • The Cuticle Mutant eca2 Modifies Plant Defense Responses to Biotrophic and Necrotrophic Pathogens and Herbivory Insects
    Blanc, Catherine; Coluccia, Fania; L'Haridon, Floriane; et al.
  • The roles of the cuticle in plant development: organ adhesions and beyond 
    Ingram, Gwyneth; Nawrath, Christiane 
    JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY, 68 (19): 5307-5321 AUG 30 2017
  • Connecting the Molecular Structure of Cutin to Ultrastructure and Physical Properties of the Cuticle in Petals of Arabidopsis 
    Mazurek, Sylwester; Garroum, Imene; Daraspe, Jean; et al. 
    PLANT PHYSIOLOGY, 173 (2): 1146-1163 FEB 2017
  • Cuticular Defects in Oryza sativa ATP-binding Cassette Transporter G31 Mutant Plants Cause Dwarfism, Elevated Defense Responses and Pathogen Resistance 
    Garroum, Imene; Bidzinski, Przemyslaw; Daraspe, Jean; et al. 
    PLANT AND CELL PHYSIOLOGY, 57 (6): 1179-1188 JUN 2016
  • Adaptation of Root Function by Nutrient-Induced Plasticity of Endodermal Differentiation 
    Barberon, Marie; Vermeer, Joop Engelbertus Martinus; De Bellis, Damien; et al. 
    CELL, 164 (3): 447-459 JAN 28 2016
  • The ABCG transporter PEC1/ABCG32 is required for the formation of the developing leaf cuticle in Arabidopsis 
    Fabre, Guillaume; Garroum, Imene; Mazurek, Sylwester; et al. 
    NEW PHYTOLOGIST, 209 (1): 192-201 JAN 2016
Christiane Nawrath

Dr. Christiane Nawrath
University of Lausanne
Department of Plant Molecular Biology
1200 Lausanne

Tel: +41 (0)21 692 42 56

Research topics

  • Structure - function analyses of cutin and the cuticle in Arabidopsis
  • Transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing a fungal cutinase
  • Permeable cuticle (pec) mutants of Arabidopsis



  • FTIR
  • Electron microscopy
  • Extracellular matrix compounds
  • Chemical analysis
  • Lipid, cell wall and cuticle analysis
  • Responses of plant to environmental changes (drought and pathogens)