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

Stress perception and plant response occurs via signal transduction pathways that regulate expression of several classes of stress responsive genes. Our main objective is to dissect the molecular mechanisms and pathways regulating disease resistance and the cross-talk between biotic and abiotic stress signaling pathways in plants (rice, maize, Arabidopsis). The knowledge acquired in these studies is fundamental in providing opportunities for developing stress-tolerant crops. More specifically, the research in our group focuses on the following topics:

i) Role and contribution of microRNAs (miRNAs) in plant innate immunity. Identification of novel miRNAs from rice contributing to pathogen resistance. Natural and domestication selection events occurring during evolution of miRNAs.

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

iii) Interaction between biotic and abiotic stress responses at a molecular level.

iv) Molecular mechanisms governing the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis, and adaptation of mycorrhizal plants to environmental (biotic and abiotic) stress.

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

Selected Publications

R Camargo-Ramírez, B Val-Torregrosa and B San Segundo (2018)

MiR858-Mediated Regulation of Flavonoid-Specific MYB Transcription Factor Genes Controls Resistance to Pathogen Infection in Arabidopsis.

Plant and Cell Physiology (Published on line, Dec 2017). Selected as the Editor in Chief choice article. IF: 4.76


R. Salvador-Guirao, P. Baldrich, D. Weigel, I. Rubio-Somoza, and B. San Segundo (2018)

The microRNA miR773 is involved in the Arabidopsis immune response to fungal pathogens.

Plant-Microbe Interaction 31, 249-259. IF: 4.33


M Soto-Suárez, P Baldrich, D Weigel, I. Rubio-Somoza and Blanca San Segundo (2017)

The Arabidopsis miR396 mediates pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered immune responses against fungal pathogens.

Scientific Reports 7: 44898. IF: 4.259


M Bundó, M Coca (2017)

“Calcium-dependent protein kinase OsCPK10 mediates both drought tolerance and blast disease resistance in rice plants”

Journal of Experimental Botany 68(11): 2963-75. IF: 5.8


C Peris-Peris, A Serra-Cardona, F Sánchez-Sanuy, S Campo, J Ariño and B San Segundo (2017)

Two NRAMP6 isoforms function as iron and manganese transporters and contribute to disease resistance in rice.

Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 30, 385-398. IF: 4.33


M Bundó, M Coca (2016)

“Enhancing blast disease resistance by overexpression of the calcium-dependent protein kinase OsCPK4 in rice”

Plant Biotechnology Journal 14 (6): 1357-67. IF: 7.4


L Montesinos, M Bundó, E Izquierdo, S Campo, E Badosa, M Rossignol, E Montesinos, San B Segundo, M Coca (2016)

“Production of biologically active cecropin A peptide in rice seed oil bodies”

Plos One 11(1): e0146919. IF: 2.8


P. Baldrich, Y-I C Hsing and B. San Segundo (2016)

Genome-wide analysis of polycistronic microRNAs in cultivated and wild rice.

Genome Biology and Evolution 8, 1104-1114. IF: 3.979


P Baldrich, S Campo, M-T Wu, T-T Liu, Y-LC Hsing, B San Segundo (2015).

MicroRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression in the response of rice plants to fungal elicitors.

RNA Biology 12 (8), 847-863. IF: 3.90


S Campo, P Baldrich, J Messeguer, E Lalanne, M Coca and B San Segundo (2014)

Overexpression of a Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase Confers Salt and Drought Tolerance in Rice by Preventing Membrane Lipid Peroxidation.

Plant Physiology 165, 688-704. IF: 6.45


M Bundó, L Montesinos, E Izquierdo, S Campo, D Mieulet, E Guiderdoni, M Rossignol, E Badosa, E Montesinos, B San Segundo, M Coca (2014)

“Production of cecropin A antimicrobial peptide in rice seed endosperm”

BMC Plant Biology 14: 102-105. IF: 3.813


S Campo, C Peris-Peris, C Siré, AB Moreno, L Donaire, M Zytnicki, C Notredame, C Llave, B San Segundo (2013)

Identification of a Novel miRNA (miRNA) from rice that targets an alternatively spliced transcript of the Nramp6 (Natural resistance-assocated macrophage protein 6) gene involved in pathogen resistance.

New Phytologist 199: 212-22. IF: 7.33