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>Home >Faculty >Laurent Zimmerli, Associate Professor
Dr. Laurent Zimmerli, Associate Professor
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Position Associate Professor
Highest degree Ph.D., University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Experience Postdoctoral Training, Carnegie Institute at Stanford, CA, USA
Expertise

Plant-Pathogen Interactions, The Priming Phenomenon

E-mail lauzim2@ntu.edu.tw
Room No. Rm1150, Life Science Building
TEL 02-33669659
FAX 02-23673374
Research Projects

Plant Stress Perception and Signaling

We are interested in how plants perceive and integrate stress signals. To achieve this goal, my laboratory studies the priming phenomenon in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Priming refers to a phenomenon were plants are sensitized to stress. Primed plants demonstrate a faster activation of defense responses following stress perception. This leads to enhanced resistance.

The non-protein amino acid beta-aminobutyric acid (BABA) is a potent enhancer of plant stress resistance. BABA increases Arabidopsis resistance to heat, drought and salt stresses. This chemical also reinforces the Arabidopsis responses to microbial pathogens such as bacteria, oomycetes and necrotrophic fungi. BABA primes plant defense mechanisms. For example, BABA enhances Arabidopsis drought and high salinity resistance by priming both abscisic acid accumulation and the expression of stress-regulated genes. Similarly BABA-induced Arabidopsis resistance to virulent pathogenic bacteria depends on a faster activation of the salicylic acid-dependent defense signaling pathway. In my laboratory, BABA is used as a tool to discover genes involved in the priming phenomenon and/or in the plant resistance to microbial pathogens. The function of relevant genes is analyzed by combining reverse genetics, plant pathology and physiology approaches. Using this approach, we discovered more than 10 novel genes involved in the Arabidopsis defense mechanisms. My laboratory is currently focused on the functional characterization of two lectin receptor kinases.

I envision that the results of our researches will help to create improved crops with better stress tolerance. Global warming increases extreme weather conditions. A better understanding of the molecular basis of stress perception and signaling in plants is thus of critical importance.

Symptoms after bacterial infection

Job Opportunities

 1. PhD Students (Taiwanese and Foreigners)

 PhD students are welcome to join my group. You will typically be involved in the molecular characterization of the function of Arabidopsis defense-related genes recently discovered in our laboratory. You will work in small interaction groups with post-doctorates, master students and research assistants. For foreigners, applications for a three-year National Taiwan University International Graduate Students Scholarship are now open. If interested please contact me for details.

 2. Master Students

 My laboratory welcomes motivated master students. By joining my group, you will learn science from the basics to the sophisticated. You will learn new techniques and develop your critical, scientific thinking. You will work under the supervision of post-doctorates and PhD students. Motivated master students usually manage to publish their work in international journals.

Current Lab Members

Prashant Singh, Postdoctoral Fellow.

1. Unraveling the Molecular Basis of Plant Stress Imprinting.
2. Dissecting Out the Role of Lectin Receptor Kinases in the Plant Innate Immunity.

Jeremy Catinot, Postdoctoral Fellow.

Identification of Novel Transcription Factors Involved in the Arabidopsis Defense Response to Pathogens.

Dario Panzeri, Postdoctoral Fellow.

Understanding the Role of Leucine-Rich Repeat Protein Kinases in the Plant Immune Response.

Ching-Wei Chen, PhD student.

Understanding the Role of Leucine-Rich Repeat Protein Kinases in the Plant Immune Response.

 

Shweta Yekondi, PhD student.

Functional Characterization of a Lectin Receptor Kinase in the Arabidopsis Defense Response to Bacteria.

 

Pin-Yao Huang, PhD student.

Functional Characterization of a Lectin Receptor Kinase in the Plant Defense Response to Bacteria.

Yu-Hung Yeh, PhD student.

Identification of Novel Transcription Factors Involved in the Arabidopsis Defense Response to Pathogens.

Cecile Yi-Ying Hsieh, Master student.

Role of epigenetics in Arabidopsis innate immunity.

Kim Tzu-Chuan Chin, Master student.

Understanding the Role of Leucine-Rich Repeat Protein Kinases in the Plant Immune Response.

Yu-Shine Chang, Master student.

Understanding the Role of Leucine-Rich Repeat Protein Kinases in the Plant Immune Response.

Jimmy Jing-Bo Huang, Master student.

Understanding the Role of Leucine-Rich Repeat Protein Kinases in the Plant Immune Response.

Steve Min-Yuan Tseng, Master student.

Identification of Novel Transcription Factors Involved in the Arabidopsis Defense Response to Pathogens.

Former Lab Members

Chia-Hong Tsai, PhD student, Michigan State University, USA.

Grace Jui-Chih Lin, Outcome, Boston, USA.

Amandine Radziejwoski, Postdoctoral Fellow, Pohang University, South Korea.

Terry Yi-Chia Lin, I-Mei Foods.

Ben, Chih-Cheng Chien, PhD student, Academia Sinica.

Zeke, Wei-Yen Chen, Research Assistant, NTU.

Dominique Arnaud, Postdoctoral Fellow, INRA/CNRS, France.

Chen-Chi Wu, Scientist, YourGene, Taiwan.

Mao-Chuain Chen, Research Assistant, Academia Sinica.

Yi-Chun Kuo, Taiwan Government.

Po-Wei Chu, Army duty.

Publications

1.      Huang TY, Desclos-Theveniau M, Chien CT, Zimmerli L. (2012) Arabidopsis thaliana transgenics overexpressing IBR3 demonstrate enhanced susceptibility to bacteria Pseudomonas syringae. Plant Biol (in press)

2.      Po-Wen C, Singh P, Zimmerli L. (2013) Priming of the Arabidopsis pattern-triggered immunity response upon infection by necrotrophic Pectobacterium carotovorum bacteria. Mol Plant Pathol 14: 58-70.

3.      Singh P, Kuo YC, Mishra S, Tsai CH, Chien CC, Chen CW, Desclos-Theveniau M, Chu PW, Schulze B, Chinchilla D, Boller T, Zimmerli L. (2012) The Lectin Receptor Kinase-VI.2 Is Required for Priming and Positively Regulates Arabidopsis Pattern-Triggered Immunity. Plant Cell 24: 1256-70.

4.      Desclos-Theveniau M, Arnaud D, Huang TY, Lin GJC, Chen WY, Lin YC, Zimmerli L. (2012) The Arabidopsis Lectin Receptor Kinase LecRK-V.5 Represses Stomatal Immunity Induced by Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000. PLoS Pathog 8: e1002513.

5.      Luo M, Liu X, Singh P, Cui Y, Zimmerli L, Wu K (2012) Chromatin modifications and remodeling in plant abiotic stress responses. Biochim Biophys Acta 1819: 129-36.

6.      Tsai CH, Singh P, Chen CW, Thomas J, Weber J, Mauch-Mani B, Zimmerli L. (2011) Priming for enhanced defence responses by specific inhibition of the Arabidopsis response to coronatine. Plant J 65: 469-79.

7.      Singh P, Wu CC, Zimmerli L. (2010) Beta-aminobutyric acid priming by stress imprinting. Plant Signal Behav Volume 5, Issue 7.

8.      Wu CC, Singh P, Chen MC, Zimmerli L. (2010) L-Glutamine Inhibits Beta-Aminobutyric Acid-Induced Stress Resistance and Priming in Arabidopsis J Exp Bot 61: 995-1002.

9.      Zimmerli L, Hou B, Tsai CH, Jakab G, Mauch-Mani B, Somerville S. (2008) The Xenobiotic Beta-Aminobutyric Acid Enhances Arabidopsis Thermotolerance. Plant J 53: 144-56.

10.      Conrath U, Beckers GJM, Flors V, García-Agustín P, Jakab G, Mauch F, Newman MA, Pieterse CMJ, Poinssot B, Pozo MJ, Pugin A, Schaffrath U, Ton J, Wendehenne D, Zimmerli L, Mauch-Mani B. (2006) Priming: Getting Ready for Battle. Mol Plant-Microbe Int 19: 1062-71.  

11.      Jakab G, Ton J, Flors V, Zimmerli L, Métraux JP, Mauch-Mani B. (2005) Enhancing Arabidopsis Salt and Drought Stress Tolerance by Chemical Priming for its Abscisic Acid Responses. Plant Physiol 139:267-74.

12.    Zimmerli L, Stein M, Lipka V, Schulze-Lefert P, Somerville S. (2004) Host and Nonhost Pathogens Elicit Different Jasmonate/Ethylene Responses in Arabidopsis. Plant J 40: 633-46.

13.    Assaad FF, Qui JL, Youngs H, Ehrhardt D, Zimmerli L, Kalde M, Wanner G, Edwards HH, Peck SC, Ramonell K, Somerville C, Thordal-Christensen H. (2004) The PEN1 Syntaxin Defines a Novel Cellular Compartment upon Fungal Attack and Is Required for the Timely Assembly of Papilla. Mol Biol Cell 15: 5118-29. 

14.    Zimmerli L and Somerville S. (2004) Transcriptomics in Plants: from Expression to Gene Function, in Plant Functional Genomics, edited by Dario Leister, the Haworth Press, Binghamton, USA (book chapter).

15.    Persello F*, Thibaud MC*, Zimmerli L, Lessard P, Sarrobert C, David P, Gerbaud A, Robaglia C, Somerville S, Nussaume L. (2003) Transcriptome Analysis of Arabidopsis Colonized by Pseudomonas Reveals a General Effect on Pathogen Resistance. Plant J 36: 177-88 (*both first authors have contributed equally to this work). 

16.    Scheible W, Fry B, Kochevenko A, Schindelasch D, Zimmerli L, Somerville S, Loria R, Somerville C. (2003) An Arabidopsis Mutant Resistant to Thaxtomin A, a Cellulose Synthase Inhibitor from Streptomyces Species. Plant Cell 15: 1781-94. 

17.    Jakab G, Manrique A, Zimmerli L, Métraux JP, Mauch-Mani B. (2003) Molecular Characterization of a Novel Lipase-Like Pathogen-Inducible Gene Family of Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol 132: 2230-9. 

18.    Zimmerli L, Metraux JP, Mauch-Mani B. (2001) Beta-Aminobutyric Acid-Induced Protection of Arabidopsis Against the Necrotrophic Fungus Botrytis cinerea. Plant Physiol 126: 517-23. 

19.    Jakab G, Cottier V, Toquin V, Rigoli G, Zimmerli L, Metraux JP, Mauch-Mani B. (2001) Beta-Aminobutyric Acid-Induced Resistance in Plants. Eur J Plant Pathol 107: 29-37.

20.    Zimmerli L, Jakab G, Metraux JP, Mauch-Mani B. (2000) Potentiation of Pathogen-Specific Defense Mechanisms in Arabidopsis by Beta-Aminobutyric Acid. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97: 12920-5.

Courses
General Biology
Plant Physiology
Methods in Plant Molecular Biology Research
Graduate Seminar
Discussion on Plant Biology Research
Advanced Topics on Plant-Microbe Interactions
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