Bacterial plant diseases and plant proteostasis


Our team is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that control the interaction between pathogenic bacteria and plants to develop sustainable strategies to prevent and fight bacterial invasions in the field.

Research in the lab focuses on 2 main areas:

Understanding the genetic determinants of bacterial wilt: Bacterial wilt caused by the wide-host range pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum is a devastating disease affecting over 200 plant species from disparate families including potato, tomato, peanut, eucalyptus, clove, etc. Management of bacterial wilt remains difficult due to R. solanacearum aggressiveness, its broad geographical distribution and its long persistence in soil and water. We study the R. solanacearum genes that are essential to complete its life cycle both inside and outside its plant hosts. These include genes that control bacterial virulence and the functions required for its long survival in soil. We expect to identify key bacterial determinants that can be used as targets to control the disease 

Understanding the molecular mechanisms that control defense responses to bacterial invasion in plants: resistance to R. solanacearum is multigenic and regulated by very complex characters. In the lab we study the mechanisms underlying inducible physico-chemical barriers posed by resistant plants to R. solanacearum as well as the protease complement involved in neutralizing the bacterium in the apoplast and xylem of infected plants. We also study the mechanisms regulating the hypersensitive response in plants, in particular the role of metacaspases as cell death proteases and a proteostasis regulators.

Group Web Page

Selected Publications

de Pedro-Jové R., Puigvert M., Sebastià P., Macho A.P., Monteiro J.S., Coll N.S., Setúbal J.C., Valls M.
Dynamic expression of Ralstonia solanacearum virulence factors and metabolism-controlling genes during plant infection
(2021) BMC Genomics, vol. 22 (1), Art. number 170 

Alonso-Diáz A., Satbhai S.B., De Pedro-Jové R., Berry H.M., Göschl C., Argueso C.T., Novak O., Busch W., Valls M., Coll N.S.
A genome-wide association study reveals cytokinin as a major component in the root defense responses against Ralstonia solanacearum
(2021) Journal of Experimental Botany, vol. 72 (7), pp. 2727 -2740

Planas-Marquès M., Kressin J.P., Kashyap A., Panthee D.R., Louws F.J., Coll N.S., Valls M.
Four bottlenecks restrict colonization and invasion by the pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in resistant tomato
(2020) Journal of Experimental Botany, vol. 71 (6), pp. 2157 -2171

Corral J., Sebastià P., Coll N.S., Barbé J., Aranda J., Valls M.
Twitching and swimming motility play a role in Ralstonia solanacearum pathogenicity
(2020) mSphere, vol. 5 (2), Art. number e00740-19

Puigvert, M., Solé, M., López-Garcia, B., Coll, N.S., Beattie, K.D., Davis, R.A., Elofsson, M., Valls, M.
Type III secretion inhibitors for the management of bacterial plant diseases
(2019) Molecular Plant Pathology, vol. 20 (1), pp. 20-32

Planas-Marquès, M., Bernardo-Faura, M., Paulus, J., Kaschani, F., Kaiser, M., Valls, M., Van Der Hoorn, R.A.L., Coll, N.S.
Protease activities triggered by Ralstonia solanacearum infection in susceptible and tolerant tomato lines
(2018) Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, vol. 17 (6), pp. 1112-1125

Lu, H., Lema, S.A., Planas-Marquès, M., Alonso-Díaz, A., Valls, M.*, Coll, N.S.*
Type III secretion-dependent and-independent phenotypes caused by Ralstonia solanacearum in Arabidopsis roots
(2018) Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, vol. 31 (1), pp. 175-184

Lema Asqui, S., Vercammen, D., Serrano, I., Valls, M., Rivas, S., Van Breusegem, F., Conlon, F.L., Dangl, J.L., Coll, N.S.
AtSERPIN1 is an inhibitor of the metacaspase AtMC1-mediated cell death and autocatalytic processing in planta
(2018) New Phytologist, vol. 218 (3), pp. 1156-1166

Popa C., Li L., Gil S., Tatjer L., Hashii K., Tabuchi M., Coll N.S., Ariño J., Valls M.
The effector AWR5 from the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum is an inhibitor of the TOR signalling pathway
(2016) Scientific Reports, vol. 6 Art. number 27058

Coll, N.S.*, Smidler, A., Puigvert, M., Popa, C., Valls, M., Dangl, J.L.
The plant metacaspase AtMC1 in pathogen-triggered programmed cell death and aging: Functional linkage with autophagy
(2014) Cell Death and Differentiation, vol. 21 (9), pp. 1399-1408

Coll NS, Vercammen D, Smidler A, Clover C, Van Breusegem F, Dangl JL, Epple P
Arabidopsis type I metacaspases control cell death
(2010) Science 3; 330(6009): 1393-7

Valls M, Atrian S, de Lorenzo V, Fernández LA. 
Engineering a mouse metallothionein on the cell surface of Ralstonia eutropha CH34 for immobilization of heavy metals in soil
(2000) Nature Biotechnology 18:661-5.