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

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

X Shi, T Cordero, S Garrigues, JF Marcos, JA Daròs and M Coca 
Efficient production of antifungal proteins in plants using a new transient expression vector derived from tobacco mosaic virus. 
(2019) Plant Biotechnology Journal (published on line doi: 10.1111/pbi13038).

R Salvador-Guirao, P Baldrich, S Tomiyama, Y-I Hsing, K Okada and B San Segundo
OsDCL1a activation impairs phytoalexin biosynthesis and compromises disease resistance in rice. 
(2019) Annals of Botany 123: 79-93.

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, Y-I Hsing, B San Segundo 
The polycistronic miR166k-166h positively regulates rice immunity via post-transcriptional control of EIN2
(2018) Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 9, Art. number 337

M Bundó, M Coca 
Calcium-dependent protein kinase OsCPK10 mediates both drought tolerance and blast disease resistance in rice plants
(2017) Journal of Experimental Botany 68(11): 2963-75. 

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. 

M Bundó, M Coca 
Enhancing blast disease resistance by overexpression of the calcium-dependent protein kinase OsCPK4 in rice
(2016) Plant Biotechnology Journal 14 (6): 1357-67. 

L Montesinos, M Bundó, E Izquierdo, S Campo, E Badosa, M Rossignol, E Montesinos, San B Segundo, M Coca 
Production of biologically active cecropin A peptide in rice seed oil bodies” 
(2016) Plos One 11(1): e0146919. 

P. Baldrich, Y-I C Hsing and B. San Segundo
Genome-wide analysis of polycistronic microRNAs in cultivated and wild rice.
(2016) Genome Biology and Evolution 8, 1104-1114. 

P Baldrich, S Campo, M-T Wu, T-T Liu, Y-LC Hsing, B San Segundo 
MicroRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression in the response of rice plants to fungal elicitors. 
(2015) RNA Biology 12 (8), 847-863. 

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.