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

  • The fungal subtilase AsES elicits a PTI-like defence response in Arabidopsis thaliana plants independently of its enzymatic activity
    del Pilar Caro, Maria; Holton, Nicholas; Conti, Gabriela; Laura Venturuzzi, Andrea; Gustavo Martinez-Zamora, Martin; et al.
    Molecular Plant Pathology,  DOI: 10.1111/mpp.12881
  • TTL Proteins Scaffold Brassinosteroid Signaling Components at the Plasma Membrane to Optimize Signal Transduction in Arabidopsis
    Amorim-Silva, V; Garcia-Moreno, A; Castillo, AG; Lakhssassi, N; del Valle, AE; Perez-Sancho, J; Li, YS; Pose, D; Perez-Rodriguez, J; Lin, J; Valpuesta, V; Borsani, O; Zipfel, C; Macho, AP; Botella, MA
    PLANT CELL, 31 (8):1807-1828; 10.1105/tpc.19.00150 AUG 2019
  • A Lotus japonicus cytoplasmic kinase connects Nod factor perception by the NFR5 LysM receptor to nodulation
    Wong, JEMM; Nadzieja, M; Madsen, LH; Bucherl, CA; Dam, S; Sandal, NN; Couto, D; Derbyshire, P; Uldum-Berentsen, M; Schroeder, S; Schwammle, V; Nogueira, FCS; Asmussen, MH; Thirup, S; Radutoiu, S; Blaise, M; Andersen, KR; Menke, FLH; Zipfel, C; Stougaard, J
    PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 116 (28):14339-14348; 10.1073/pnas.1815425116 JUL 9 2019
  • Mechanisms of RALF peptide perception by a heterotypic receptor complex
    Yu Xiao, Martin Stegmann, Zhifu Han, Thomas A. DeFalco, Katarzyna Parys, Li Xu, Youssef Belkhadir, Cyril Zipfel and Jijie Chai
    Nature, 10 July 2019. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1409-7
  • Widely Conserved Attenuation of Plant MAMP-Induced Calcium Influx by Bacteria Depends on Multiple Virulence Factors and May Involve Desensitization of Host Pattern Recognition Receptors
    Lammertz, M; Kuhn, H; Pfeilmeier, S; Malone, J; Zipfel, C; Kwaaitaal, M; Lin, NC; Kvitko, BH; Panstruga, R
    MOLECULAR PLANT-MICROBE INTERACTIONS, 32 (5):608-621; 10.1094/MPMI-10-18-0291-R MAY 2019
  • The grapevine (Vitis vinifera) LysM receptor kinases VvLYK1-1 and VvLYK1-2 mediate chitooligosaccharide-triggered immunity
    Brule D; Villano C; Davies LJ; Trda L; Claverie J; Heloir MC; Chiltz A; Adrian M; Darblade B; Tornero P; Stransfeld L; Boutrot F; Zipfel C; Dry IB; Poinssot B
    PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL 17(4): 812-825  10.1111/pbi.13017  APR 2019  
  • Expression of the Arabidopsis thaliana immune receptor EFR in Medicago truncatula reduces infection by a root pathogenic bacterium, but not nitrogen-fixing rhizobial symbiosis
    Pfeilmeier, S; George, J; Morel, A; Roy, S; Smoker, M; Stransfeld, L; Downie, JA; Peeters, N; Malone, JG; Zipfel, C
    PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL  17 (3): 569-579  10.1111/pbi.12999   MAR 2019    
  • Quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis reveals common regulatory mechanisms between effector- and PAMP-triggered immunity in plants
    Kadota, Y; Liebrand, TWH; Goto, Y; Sklenar, J; Derbyshire, P; Menke, FLH; Torres, MA; Molina, A; Zipfel, C; Coaker, G; Shirasu, K
    NEW PHYTOLOGIST 221 (4): 2160-2175  10.1111/nph.15523  MAR 2019
  • Comparing Arabidopsis receptor kinase and receptor protein-mediated immune signaling reveals BIK1-dependent differences
    Wan, WL; Zhang, LS; Pruitt, R; Zaidem, M; Brugman, R; Ma, XY; Krol, E; Perraki, A; Kilian, J; Grossmann, G; Stahl, M; Shan, LB; Zipfel, C; van Kan, JAL; Hedrich, R; Weigel, D; Gust, AA; Nurnberger, T
    NEW PHYTOLOGIST 221(4): 2080-2095  DOI: 10.1111/nph.15497  MAR 2019
  • Expression of the Arabidopsis thaliana immune receptor EFR in Medicago truncatula reduces infection by a root pathogenic bacterium, but not nitrogen-fixing rhizobial symbiosis
    Pfeilmeier, S; George, J; Morel, A; Roy, S; Smoker, M; Stransfeld, L; Downie, JA; Peeters, N; Malone, JG; Zipfel, C
    PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL, 17 (3):569-579; 10.1111/pbi.12999  MAR 2019
  • 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 108(12): 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