Cristina Barragan

Postdoctoral Scientist
Sophien Kamoun Group

During my PhD, the focus of my research was on how genetic distance between any two individuals can impact their offspring’s fitness. Specifically, I studied cases of hybrid necrosis in Arabidopsis thaliana, where high genetic variability present in components of the plant immune system can result in autoimmune offspring. In addition, I identified inbreeding depression, a consequence of too little parental genetic distance, as a common underlying cause of unfit A. arenosa segregating in wild populations.

At TSL, I look forward to diving into the world of plant-pathogen interactions, where I will focus on NLR (-network) macroevolution.


Zhu W, Li L, Neuhaeuser B, Thelen M, Wang M, Chen J, Wei L, Venkataramani K, Exposito-Alonso M, Liu C, Keck J, Barragan AC, Schwab R, Lutz U, Ludewig U, Weigel D (2021)

Small peptides modulate the immune function of the ion channel-like protein ACD6 in Arabidopsis thaliana. bioRxiv preprint Jan 26, 2021 doi:

Barragan AC, Collenberg M, Schwab R, Kerstens M, Bezrukov I, Bemm F, Požárová D, Kolář F, Weigel D (2021)

Homozygosity at its Limit: Inbreeding Depression in Wild Arabidopsis arenosa Populations. bioRxiv preprint Jan 25, 2021 doi:

Barragan AC, Collenberg M, Wang J, Lee RRQ, Cher WY, Rabanal FA, Ashkenazy H, Weigel D, Chae E (2020)

A Truncated Singleton NLR Causes Hybrid Necrosis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Mol Biol Evol. 2021 Jan 23;38(2):557-574. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msaa245

Barragan AC, Weigel D (2020)

Plant NLR Diversity: The Known Unknowns of pan-NLRomes. The Plant Cell, koaa002,

Exposito-Alonso M; 500 Genomes Field Experiment Team, Burbano HA, Bossdorf O, Nielsen R, Weigel D (2019)

Natural selection on the Arabidopsis thaliana genome in present and future climates. Nature. 2019 Sep;573(7772):126-129. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1520-9.

Barragan CA, Wu R, Kim ST, Xi W, Habring A, Hagmann J, Van de Weyer AL, Zaidem M, Ho WWH, Wang G, Bezrukov I, Weigel D, Chae E (2019)

RPW8/HR repeats control NLR activation in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS Genet. 2019 Jul 25;15(7):e1008313. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008313.

Exposito-Alonso M, 500 Genomes Field Experiment Team, Burbano HA, Bossdorf O, Weigel D (2018)

A rainfall-manipulation experiment with 517 Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. bioRxiv preprint Jun 08, 2018 doi:

Job History

2021 – present Post-doctoral Scientist, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK

2020 – 2021 Post-doctoral Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany

2016 – 2020 PhD Student, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany

2010 – 2016 BSc and MSc in Biology, University of Tübingen, Germany