Plant cell wall dynamics in plant growth and stress response

Plant Cell Biology

The plant cell wall is a complex network of carbohydrate-based polymers that controls overall plant morphogenesis and protects the cell against biotic and abiotic stress factors. Among the cell wall components, cellulose is the main biomass contributor and is essential for several industries. One of the aims of our research is understanding the mechanisms underlying its synthesis and remodeling, especially those related with cellulose microfibril structure and its role in plant stress response.

We are also interested in the cell wall as the first coat by which the cell communicates with its neighbour cells and the environment. To fulfil this function, the cell wall needs to be a highly dynamic and responsive structure, able to sense and integrate external stimuli and to transmit them across the plasma membrane. A fine-tuned communication with the cytosol through clathrin-mediated endocytosis is especially important for fast and localized responses, for example in reaction to microbes. In our group we aim to characterize the dynamic changes of the cell wall and the function of the clathrin-mediated endocytosis machinery at the cellular level, particularly in the microbe-plant interface.


Recent Publications

  • A primary cell wall cellulose-dependent defense mechanism against vascular pathogens revealed by time-resolved dual transcriptomics
    Menna, Alexandra; Dora, Susanne; Sancho-Andres, Gloria; Kashyap, Anurag; Meena, Mukesh Kumar; et al.
    Bmc Biology 10.1186/s12915-021-01100-6  AUG 17 2021
  • A Chromosome-Scale Genome Assembly for the Fusarium oxysporum Strain Fo5176 To Establish a Model Arabidopsis-Fungal Pathosystem
    Fokkens, Like; Guo, Li; Dora, Susanne; Wang, Bo; Ye, Kai; Sanchez-Rodriguez, Clara; Croll, Daniel
    G3-genes Genomes Genetics   DOI: 10.1534/g3.120.401375  OCT 2020
  • Moonlighting Function of Phytochelatin Synthase1 in Extracellular Defense against Fungal Pathogens
    Hematy, Kian; Lim, Melisa; Cherk, Candice; Pislewska-Bednarek, Mariola; Sanchez-Rodriguez, Clara; et al.
    Plant Physiology  DOI: 10.1104/pp.19.01393 APR 2020
  • Pathogen-induced pH changes regulate the growth-defense balance in plants
    Kesten, Christopher; Gamez-Arjona, Francisco M.; Menna, Alexandra; Scholl, Stefan; Dora, Susanne; Huerta, Apolonio Ignacio; Huang, Hsin-Yao; Tintor, Nico; Kinoshita, Toshinori; Rep, Martijn; Krebs, Melanie; Schumacher, Karin; Sanchez-Rodriguez, Clara
    Embo Journal 38(24) Article Number: e101822,  DOI: 10.15252/embj.2019101822 DEC 16 2019
  • Sucrose-induced Receptor Kinase 1 is Modulated by an Interacting Kinase with Short Extracellular Domain
    Wu, XN; Chu, LC; Xi, L; Pertl-Obermeyer, H; Li, Z; Sklodowski, K; Sanchez-Rodriguez, C; Obermeyer, G; Schulze, WX
    MOLECULAR & CELLULAR PROTEOMICS, 18 (8):1556-1571; 10.1074/mcp.RA119.001336 AUG 2019
  • The companion of cellulose synthase 1 confers salt tolerance through a Tau-like mechanism in plants
    Kesten C; Wallmann A; Schneider R; McFarlane HE; Diehl A; Khan GA; van Rossum BJ; Lampugnani ER; Szymanski WG; Cremer N; Schmieder P; Ford KL; Seiter F; Heazlewood JL; Sanchez-Rodriguez C; Oschkinat H; Persson S
    NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 10 10.1038/s41467-019-08780-3 FEB 20 2019
  • YODA MAP3K kinase regulates plant immune responses conferring broad-spectrum disease resistance
    Sara Sopeña‐Torres; Lucía Jordá; Clara Sánchez‐Rodríguez; Eva Miedes; Viviana Escudero; Sanjay Swami; Gemma López; Mariola Piślewska‐Bednarek; Ines Lassowskat; Justin Lee; Yangnan Gu; Sabine Haigis; Danny Alexander; Sivakumar Pattathil; Antonio Muñoz‐Barrios; Pawel Bednarek; Shauna Somerville; Paul Schulze‐Lefert; Michael G. Hahn; Dierk Scheel; Antonio Molina
    New Phytologist 218(2):661-680,  DOI: 10.1111/nph.15007 February 2018
  • The Cellulose Synthases Are Cargo of the TPLATE Adaptor Complex 
    Sanchez-Rodriguez, Clara; Shi, Yanyun; Kesten, Christopher; et al. 
    MOLECULAR PLANT, 11 (2): 346-349 FEB 5 2018
  • Regulation of cellulose synthesis in response to stress 
    Kesten, Christopher; Menna, Alexandra; Sanchez-Rodriguez, Clara 
Clara Sanchez Rodriguez

Prof. Dr. Clara Sánchez Rodríguez
ETH Zurich
Institute of Molecular Plant Biology
8092 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 633 45 45

Research topics

  • Cell wall synthesis and remodeling
  • Endocytosis mediated signaling
  • Plant stress response



  • Life cell imaging and quantitative microscopy
  • Cell wall biochemistry  and laser based microscopy
  • Plant-microbe interaction
  • Genetic screens
  • Proteomics