Our group studies the molecular basis of plant innate immunity. We aim at deciphering the signaling events linking perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) to the establishment of immunity.

We use the leucine-rich repeats receptor kinases EFR and FLS2, which perceive bacterial EF-Tu and flagellin, respectively, as model pattern recognition receptors (PRRs).

Our work also aims at understanding how plant receptor kinases work at the molecular level and how signaling specificity is achieved between different receptor kinase-mediated signaling pathways involved in immunity and growth.

We are also exploring how outcomes of our research can be used to engineer sustainable broad-spectrum disease resistance in crops.

The Zipfel group is based both at TSL and at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) (  In addition to our own research, we also collaborate with researchers across TSL and contribute to joint research programmes.

Latest Publications

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Goto Y, Maki N, Sklenar J, Derbyshire P, Menke FLH, Zipfel C, Kadota Y, Shirasu K (2020)

The phagocytosis oxidase/Bem1p (PB1) domain-containing protein PB1CP negatively regulates the NADPH oxidase RBOHD in plant immunity. bioRxiv preprint Dec 29, 2020 doi:

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Schellenberger R, Crouzet J, Nickzad A, Kutschera A, Gerster T, Borie N, Dawid C, Cloutier M, Villaume S, Dhondt-Cordelier S, Hubert J, Cordelier S, Mazeyrat-Gourbeyre F, Schmid C, Ongena M, Renault JH, Haudrechy A, Hofmann T, Baillieul F, Clement C, Zipfel C, Gauthier C, Deziel E, Ranf S, Dorey S (2020)

Rhamnolipids and their 3-(3-hydroxyalkanoyloxy)alkanoic acid precursors activate Arabidopsis innate immunity through two independent mechanisms. bioRxiv preprint Dec 20, 2020 doi:

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Bjornson M, Pimprikar P, Nuernberger T, Zipfel C (2020)

The transcriptional landscape of Arabidopsis thaliana pattern-triggered immunity. bioRxiv preprint Dec 01, 2020 doi:

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Steinbrenner AD, Muñoz-Amatriaín M, Chaparro AF, Aguilar-Venegas JM, Lo S, Okuda S, Glauser G, Dongiovanni J, Shi D, Hall M, Crubaugh D, Holton N, Zipfel C, Abagyan R, Turlings TCJ, Close TJ, Huffaker A, Schmelz EA (2020)

A receptor-like protein mediates plant immune responses to herbivore-associated molecular patterns. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Nov 23:202018415. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2018415117.

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