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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Mitre LK, Teixeira-Silva NS, Rybak K, Magalhães DM, de Souza-Neto RR, Robatzek S, Zipfel C, de Souza AA (2021)

The Arabidopsis immune receptor EFR increases resistance to the bacterial pathogens Xanthomonas and Xylella in transgenic sweet orange. Plant Biotechnol J. 2021 May 15. doi: 10.1111/pbi.13629.

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Bender KW, Couto D, Kadota Y, Macho AP, Sklenar J, Bjornson M, Petriello A, Font Farre M, Schwessinger B, Ntoukakis V, Stransfeld L, Jones AME, Menke FLH, Zipfel C (2021)

Activation loop phosphorylation of a non-RD receptor kinase initiates plant innate immune signaling. bioRxiv preprint May 01, 2021 doi:

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Bjornson M, Pimprikar P, Nürnberger T, Zipfel C (2021)

The transcriptional landscape of Arabidopsis thaliana pattern-triggered immunity. Nat. Plants (2021).

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Sánchez-Martín J, Widrig V, Herren G, Wicker T, Zbinden H, Gronnier J, Spörri L, Praz CR, Heuberger M, Kolodziej MC, Isaksson J, Steuernagel B, Karafiátová M, Doležel J, Zipfel C, Keller B (2021)

Wheat Pm4 resistance to powdery mildew is controlled by alternative splice variants encoding chimeric proteins. Nat Plants. 2021 Mar 11. doi: 10.1038/s41477-021-00869-2.

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