Plant-microbe Interactions

The focus of our research is on understanding the dynamic interactions between plants and bacteria at the molecular level. In an interdisciplinary approach, we study how plants sense microbial colonization and activate an immune response, but also how the bacteria adapt to the plant host environment and how this contributes to their persistence in the host plant.

Our group studies the interaction between different plant species and Gram-negative Proteobacteria such as Pseudomonas species. Our major research areas are immune sensing of bacteria through plant cell surface receptors and bacterial cell wall dynamics during plant colonization. We are particularly interested in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and related metabolites. LPS is a heterogeneous and complex glycolipid macromolecule, that covers ~75% of the Gram-negative bacterial cell surface. LPS is not only vital for the survival of bacteria but fulfils multiple roles in interaction with hosts.

  • Remodeling of Lipid A in Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola in vitro
    Gerster, T; Wrobel, M; (...); Gisch, N
    Feb 2022 | INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES 23 (4) 10.3390/ijms23041996
  • Bacterial rhamnolipids and their 3-hydroxyalkanoate precursors activate Arabidopsis innate immunity two independent mechanisms
    Schellenberger, R; Crouzet, J; (...); Dorey, S
  • Analysis of the Structure and Biosynthesis of the Lipopolysaccharide Core Oligosaccharide of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000
    Kutschera, A; Schombel, U; (...); Gisch, N
    Mar 2021 | INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES 22 (6)  10.3390/ijms22063250
  • The Arabidopsis leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase MIK2 is a crucial component of early immune responses to a fungal-derived elicitor
    Coleman, AD; Maroschek, J; (...); Huckelhoven, R
    Mar 2021 | NEW PHYTOLOGIST 229 (6) , pp.3453-3466 10.1111/nph.17122
  • A mutation in Asparagine-Linked Glycosylation 12(ALG12) leads to receptor misglycosylation and attenuated responses to multiple microbial elicitors
    Trempel, F; Eschen-Lippold, L; (...); Lee, J
    Aug 2020 | FEBS LETTERS 594 (15) , pp.2440-2451 10.1002/1873-3468.13850
  • Loss of wbpL disrupts O-polysaccharide synthesis and impairs virulence of plant-associated Pseudomonas strains
    Kutschera, A; Schombel, U; (...); Ranf, S
    Nov 2019 | MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY 20 (11) , pp.1535-1549 10.1111/mpp.12864
  • Bacterial medium-chain 3-hydroxy fatty acid metabolites trigger immunity in Arabidopsis plants
    Kutschera, A; Dawid, C; (...); Ranf, S
    Apr 12 2019 | SCIENCE 364 (6436) , pp.178-+ 10.1126/science.aau1279
Stefanie Ranf, Fribourg University

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Ranf
University of Fribourg
Department of Biology

Phone:     +41 26 300 8817

  • Plant immune sensing through cell surface receptors
  • Bacterial cell wall dynamics during plant colonization
  • Plant and bacterial biotechnology
  • Plant-bacteria interactions
  • Plant cell-surface receptor function and mechanisms
  • Calcium signalling in plants
  • Lipopolysaccharide structural analysis