Plant immune responses to pathogen infection. Antimicrobial peptides for crop protection

Group Leaders
Blanca San Segundo
CSIC Research Professor


Plant stress perception occurs via complex signal transduction pathways, leading to the activation of appropriate responses. The overall goal of our research is to understand the molecular mechanisms governing disease resistance and cross-talk between biotic and abiotic stress signaling pathways in plants, as well as the trade-offs between defense responses and developmental programs. Our studies target model plants and important crops, such as Arabidopsis, rice, maize and tomato plants. The knowledge acquired in these studies will contribute to the establishment of novel concepts in the field of plant/pathogen interaction that can be useful for the management of plant diseases. More specifically, the research in our group focuses on the following topics:

i) Role and contribution of microRNAs (miRNAs) in plant innate immunity. Understanding interactions between defense and nutrient stress signaling. 

ii) Contribution of Calcium dependent Protein Kinases (CPKs) to plant immunity. Crosstalk between biotic and abiotic stress-induced signaling pathways and developmental processes.

iii) Molecular mechanisms underlying the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. Disease resistance and abiotic stress alleviation in mycorrhizal plants.

iv) Development and evaluation of production systems of antimicrobial peptides using plants as biofactories.

Selected Publications

B. Val-Torregrosa, M. Bundó, H. Martín-Cardoso, M. Bach-Pages, T-J. Chiou, V. Flors and B. San Segundo
Phosphate-induced resistance to pathogen infection in Arabidopsis
(2022) Plant Journal (Published on line). DOI:10.1111/tpj.15680.

M. Bundó,, H. Martín-Cardoso, M. Pesenti, J. Gómez-Ariza, L. Castillo, J. Frouin, X. Serrat, S. Nogués, B. Courtois, C. Grenier, G.A. Sacchi and B. San Segundo.
Integrative approach for precise genotyping and transcriptomics of salt tolerant introgression rice lines
(2022) Frontiers in Plant Science 12:797141.                        

S. Campo, F. Sánchez-Sanuy, R. Camargo-Ramírez, J. Gómez-Ariza, P. Baldrich, L. Campos-Soriano, M.Soto-Suárez and Blanca San Segundo
A novel Transposable element-derived microRNA participates in plant immunity to rice blast disease.
(2021) Plant Biotechnology Journal 19, 1798.

S. Campo and B. San Segundo
Systemic induction of phosphatidylinositol-based signaling in leaves of arbuscular mycorrhizal rice plants.
(2020) Scientific Reports 10, 15896.     

S. Campo, H. Martín-Cardoso, M. Olivé, E. Pla, M.M Català, MT Martínez-Eixarch and B. San Segundo.
Effect of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on growth, productivity and blast resistance in rice.
(2020) Rice 13: 42-56                                      

L. Campos-Soriano, M. Bundó, M. Bach-Pages, S-F. Chiang, T-J Chiou and B. San Segundo
Phosphate excess increases susceptibility to pathogen infection in rice.
(2020) Molecular Plant Pathology 21, 555-570.    

R Camargo-Ramírez, B Val-Torregrosa and B San Segundo 
MiR858-mediated regulation of flavonoid-specific MYB transcription factor genes controls resistance to pathogen infection in Arabidopsis.
(2018) Plant and Cell Physiology 59(1), pp. 190-204.

R. Salvador-Guirao, P. Baldrich, D. Weigel, I. Rubio-Somoza and B. San Segundo.
The microRNA miR733 is involved in the Arabidopsis immune response to fungal pathogens.
(2018) Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 31, 249-259.

C Peris-Peris, A Serra-Cardona, F Sánchez-Sanuy, S Campo, J Ariño and B San Segundo 
Two NRAMP6 isoforms function as iron and manganese transporters and contribute to disease resistance in rice. 
(2017) Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 30, 385-398. 

M Soto-Suárez, P Baldrich, D Weigel, I. Rubio-Somoza and Blanca San Segundo 
The Arabidopsis miR396 mediates pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered immune responses against fungal pathogens. 
(2017) Scientific Reports 7: 44898.

S Campo, P Baldrich, J Messeguer, E Lalanne, M Coca and B San Segundo
Overexpression of a Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase Confers Salt and Drought Tolerance in Rice by Preventing Membrane Lipid Peroxidation. 
(2014) Plant Physiology 165, 688-704. 

S. Campo, C.Peris-Peris, C. Siré , A.B. Moreno, L. Donaire, M. Zytnicki, C. Notredame, C. Llave and B. San Segundo.
Identification of a Novel miRNA (miRNA) from rice that targets an alternatively spliced transcript of the Nramp6 (Natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 6) gene involved in pathogen resistance.
(2013) New Phytologist 199, 212-227.