Plant defenses against insects

Molecular Studies of Plant-Insect Interactions

Plants attacked by insects develop an array of inducible defenses aimed at slowing the growth or development of the aggressor. We use genomics tools to monitor transcriptional changes in Arabidopsis after challenge with specialist (Pieris brassicae) or generalist (Spodoptera littoralis) leaf-chewing insects. Our research is mainly focused on two projects :

1) We want to know what are the insect-derived elicitors that trigger transcriptional reprogramming, which signals are involved in the transduction events and which transcription factors control defense gene induction after insect attack. The aim of this project to identify the genes that contribute to the plant resistance to herbivores.

2) Insect eggs deposited on a leaf represent a future threat as larvae hatching from the egg will ultimately feed on the plant. Eggs laid by Pieris brassicae modify the expression of hundreds of genes, indicating that plants are capable of detecting the presence of insect eggs and that they respond by activating defense gene expression. We want to identify the nature of egg-derived elicitor(s), the signaling pathways that control the oviposition-induced responses, and the benefits and costs of defense against oviposition.


Recent Publications

  • Stress- and pathway-specific impacts of impaired jasmonoyl-isoleucine (JA-Ile) catabolism on defense signalling and biotic stress resistance
    Marquis, Valentin; Smirnova, Ekaterina; Poirier, Laure; Zumsteg, Julie; Schweizer, Fabian; Reymond, Philippe; Heitz, Thierry
    Plant Cell And Environment,  DOI: 10.1111/pce.13753  2020
  • Molecular Interactions Between Plants and Insect Herbivores
    Erb, M; Reymond, P. Edited by: Merchant SS
    ANNUAL REVIEW OF PLANT BIOLOGY, VOL 70, 70 527-557; 10.1146/annurev-arplant-050718-095910 2019
  • The Arabidopsis Lectin Receptor Kinase LecRK-I.8 Is Involved in Insect Egg Perception
    Gouhier-Darimont, C; Stahl, E; Glauser, G; Reymond, P
    FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 10 10.3389/fpls.2019.00623 MAY 10 2019
  • Ligand-receptor co-evolution shaped the jasmonate pathway in land plants
    Monte, I; Ishida, S; Zamarreno, AM; Hamberg, M; Franco-Zorrilla, JM; Garcia-Casado, G; Gouhier-Darimont, C; Reymond, P; Takahashi, K; Garcia-Mina, JM; Nishihama, R; Kohchi, T; Solano, R
    NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY, 14 (5):480-+;  MAY 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.
  • Plant-arthropod interactions: who is the winner? 
    Stahl, Elia; Hilfiker, Olivier; Reymond, Philippe 
    PLANT JOURNAL, 93 (4): 703-728 FEB 2018 10.1111/tpj.13773 
  • An OPR3-independent pathway uses 4,5-didehydrojasmonate for jasmonate synthesis 
    Chini, Andrea; Monte, Isabel; Zamarreno, Angel M.; et al. 
    NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY, 14 (2): 171-+ FEB 2018 Article (Details)
  • Low number of fixed somatic mutations in a long-lived oak tree 
    Schmid-Siegert, Emanuel; Sarkar, Namrata; Iseli, Christian; et al. 
    NATURE PLANTS, 3 (12): 926-929 DEC 2017 Article (Details)
  • Combined biotic stresses trigger similar transcriptomic responses but contrasting resistance against a chewing herbivore in Brassica nigra 
    Bonnet, Christelle; Lassueur, Steve; Ponzio, Camille; et al. 
    BMC PLANT BIOLOGY, 17: JUL 17 2017 Article (Details)
  • Arabidopsis glucosinolates trigger a contrasting transcriptomic response in a generalist and a specialist herbivore 
    Schweizer, Fabian; Heidel-Fischer, Hanna; Vogel, Heiko; et al. 
Philippe Reymond

Prof. Dr. Philippe Reymond
University of Lausanne
Department of Plant Molecular Biology
1015 Lausanne

Tel: +41 (0)21 692 41 90

Research topics

  • Molecular study of plant defense against insects
  • Defense pathway crosstalk
  • Response to oviposition
  • Plant genomics



  • Arabidopsis functional genomics
  • Analysis of plant and insect-derived signal molecules
  • Responses to plant pathogens and aggressors