Receptor kinase-mediated plant sensing

Plant Signaling

As multicellular organisms, plants constantly perceive their environment and respond appropriately, which is required for their survival, as well as the coordination of their growth and development. In particular, we are focusing on cell surface-localised immune receptors, called pattern recognition receptors, that perceive microbe-derived or endogenous patterns to activate innate immune responses.

Plant pattern recognition receptors are receptor kinases or are part of receptor kinase complexes, and thus offer exquisite model systems to study the molecular basis of plant immunity, but also the mechanisms underlying the function, activation and regulation receptor kinase-mediated pathways in growth, development and responses to environmental stresses. In addition, we are interested in identifying and engineering immune receptors to improve disease resistance in crops. 

Recent Publications

•Transgenic Expression of EFR and Bs2 Genes for Field Management of Bacterial Wilt and Bacterial Spot of Tomato
Kunwar, S; Iriarte, F; Fan, QR; da Silva, EE; Ritchie, L; Nguyen, NS; Freeman, JH; Stall, RE; Jones, JB; Minsavage, GV; Colee, J; Scott, JW; Vallad, GE; Zipfel, C; Horvath, D; Westwood, J; Hutton, SF; Paret, ML
PHYTOPATHOLOGY Volume: 108     Issue: 12     Pages: 1402-1411   10.1094/PHYTO-12-17-0424-R   DEC 2018

• REM1.3's phospho-status defines its plasma membrane nanodomain organization and activity in restricting PVX cell-to-cell movement
Perraki A; Gronnier J; Gouguet P; Boudsocq M; Deroubaix AF; Simon V; German-Retana S; Legrand A; Habenstein B; Zipfel C; Bayer E; Mongrand S; Germain V
PLOS PATHOGENS 14(11) NOV 2018  Article, DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007378

• Phosphocode-dependent functional dichotomy of a common co-receptor in plant signalling

Perraki, A; DeFalco, TA; Derbyshire, P; Avila, J; Sere, D; Sklenar, J; Qi, XY; Stransfeld, L; Schwessinger, B; Kadota, Y; Macho, AP; Jiang, SS; Couto, D; Torii, KU; Menke, FLH; Zipfel, C
NATURE, 561 (7722):248-+; 10.1038/s41586-018-0471-x  10.1038/s41586-018-0663-4  SEP 13 2018

• An extracellular network of Arabidopsis leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (vol 553, pg 342, 2018)
Smakowska-Luzan, Elwira; Mott, G. Adam; Parys, Katarzyna; et al.
NATURE 561(7722): E8-E8   10.1038/s41586-018-0268-y SEP 13 2018

• Plant G-protein activation: connecting to plant receptor kinases
Bender, Kyle W.; Zipfel, Cyril
CELL RESEARCH  28(7): 697-700   10.1038/s41422-018-0046-2 JUL 2018

• The plant cell wall integrity maintenance and immune signaling systems cooperate to control stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana
Engelsdorf, Timo; Gigli-Bisceglia, Nora; Veerabagu, Manikandan; et al.
SCIENCE SIGNALING 11(536): eaao3070   10.1126/scisignal.aao3070 JUN 26 2018

• Vacuole Integrity Maintained by DUF300 Proteins Is Required for Brassinosteroid Signaling Regulation
Liu, Qinsong; Vain, Thomas; Viotti, Corrado; et al.
MOLECULAR PLANT 11(4): 553-567   10.1016/j.molp.2017.12.015 APR 2 2018

• An apoplastic peptide activates salicylic acid signalling in maize
Ziemann, Sebastian; van der Linde, Karina; Lahrmann, Urs; et al.
NATURE PLANTS  4(3):172-180   10.1038/s41477-018-0116-y MAR 2018


Prof. Dr. Cyril Zipfel
University of Zurich
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
8008 Zurich

Tel: +41 44 63 48222

Research topics

  • Plant innate immunity
  • Plant receptor kinases
  • Phosphorylation-based regulation of plant signaling
  • Plasma membrane organization
  • Cell wall integrity sensing  
  • Plant biotechnology 


  • Protein-protein interactions
  • Protein phosphorylation analysis
  • Plant-bacteria interactions
  • Bioimaging
  • Signaling bioassays in immunity, growth and development
  • Electrophysiology