Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions

Plants are colonized by a vast variety of microbes, some of which are beneficial, others are pathogenic. Associations with beneficial microbes can make plants more resistant to stress, and result in higher yield. To exploit these beneficial interactions on an agricultural scale, the mechanisms of plant-microbe interactions need to be elucidated. We focus on the following questions:

How do plants perceive pathogenic and beneficial microbes, and how do they alter their metabolism in response? Do plants adjust the quality and quantity of metabolites exuded by roots to interact with specific microbes? Which transport proteins are involved in this process? In summary, how do plants shape the microbial communities in their vicinity?

We use state-of-the art tools from biochemistry, molecular biology, analytical chemistry and more to elucidate molecular mechanisms of plant-microbe interactions.

  • Root exudation profiling
  • Plant transporters
  • Immunity and microbes
  • Beneficial and pathogenic microbes

► Google Scholar:

• The core metabolome and root exudation dynamics of three phylogenetically distinct plant species
S McLaughlin, K Zhalnina, S Kosina, TR Northen, J Sasse (2023)
Nature Communications 14 (1), 1649  2023

• Root morphology and exudate availability are shaped by particle size and chemistry in Brachypodium distachyon
Sasse, Joelle; Kosina, Suzanne M.; de Raad, Markus; Jordan, Jacob S.; Whiting, Katherine; et al.
Plant Direct  DOI: 10.1002/pld3.207  JUL 2020

• Challenging our view of the active fraction of soil microbiome using BONCAT-FACS-Seq.
Couradeau E., Sasse J., Goudeau D., Nath N., Hazen T. C., Bowen B.P., Malmstrom R.R., Northen T.R. (2019)
Nature Communications 10 (1): 2770-2710  2019

• Probing the active fraction of soil microbiomes using BONCAT-FACS
E Couradeau, J Sasse, D Goudeau, N Nath, TC Hazen, BP Bowen, ...
Nature Communications 10 (1), 2770 2019

• Multilab EcoFAB study shows highly reproducible physiology and depletion of soil metabolites by a model grass
J Sasse, J Kant, BJ Cole, AP Klein, B Arsova, P Schlaepfer, J Gao, ...
New Phytologist 222 (2), 1149-1160 DOI: 10.1111/nph.15662  2019

• Root morphology and exudate availability is shaped by particle size and chemistry in Brachypodium distachyon
J Sasse, JS Jordan, M DeRaad, K Whiting, K Zhalnina, T Northen
bioRxiv, 651570 2019

• Study of Oak Ridge soils using BONCAT-FACS-Seq reveals that a large fraction of the soil microbiome is active
E Couradeau, J Sasse, D Goudeau, N Nath, T Hazen, B Bowen, ... 2018

• Ecosystem fabrication (EcoFAB) protocols for the construction of laboratory ecosystems designed to study plant-microbe interactions
J Gao, J Sasse, KM Lewald, K Zhalnina, LT Cornmesser, TA Duncombe, ...
JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), e57170   DOI: 10.3791/57170 2018

• Changes in the allocation of endogenous strigolactone improve plant biomass production on phosphate‐poor soils
G Liu, J Pfeifer, R Brito Francisco, A Emonet, M Stirnemann, C Gübeli, ...
New Phytologist 217 (2), 784-798  10.1111/nph.14847  2018

• Feed your friends: do plant exudates shape the root microbiome?
J Sasse, E Martinoia, T Northen
Trends in plant science 23 (1), 25-41  DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.09.003  2018

Joelle Schläpfer Sasse Zurich University

Prof. Dr. Joelle Sasse Schläpfer
University of Zurich
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
8057 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 634 8282

  • Plant ecology
  • Nonmodel plants
  • Plant microbiomes