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

Plant-Pathogen Interactions, The Priming Phenomenon

Room No. Rm1150, Life Science Building
TEL 02-33669659
FAX 02-23673374
Research Projects

Plant Stress Perception and Signaling

My group investigates how plants sense microbial pathogens, in particular deleterious bacteria and fungi. To do so, we decipher the molecular function of proteins involved in the sensing machinery, notably receptor kinases localized at the plant cell surface that function in innate immunity.

Another line of research aims at deciphering the molecular aspects of defence priming. We are interested in understanding which molecular factors regulate potentiation of resistance to bacteria by repetitive abiotic stress exposure.

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.

Current Lab Members


Ching Chan, Postdoctoral Fellow.


Dario Panzeri, Postdoctoral Fellow.



Shweta Yekondi, PhD student.


Pin-Yao Huang, PhD student.


Yu-Hung Yeh, PhD student.


Becky Beier Jiang, Master student.


David Wei-Mai Hsien, Master student.


Angela Fu-Chun Liang, Master student.


Edward Yi-Chun Huang, Master student.


Tino Guan-Yu Louh, Master student.


1.      Catinot J, Huang JB, Huang PY, Tseng MY, Chen YL, Gu SY, Lo WS, Wang LC, Chen YR, and Zimmerli L. (2015) ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR 96 positively regulates Arabidopsis resistance to necrotrophic pathogens by direct binding to GCC elements of jasmonate- and ethylene-responsive defence genes. Plant Cell Environ Jun 2. doi: 10.1111/pce.12583. [Epub ahead of print].

2.      Yeh YH, Chang YH, Huang PY, Huang JB, and Zimmerli L. (2015) Enhanced Arabidopsis pattern-triggered immunity by overexpression of cysteine-rich receptor-like kinases. Front Plant Sci 6: 322.

3.      Huang PY and Zimmerli L. (2014) Enhancing crop innate immunity: new promising trends. Front Plant Sci 5: 624.

4.      Singh P, Yekondi S, Chen PW, Tsai CH, Yu CW, Wu K, Zimmerli L. (2014) Environmental History Modulates Arabidopsis Pattern-Triggered Immunity in a HISTONE ACETHYLTRANSFERASE1-Dependent Manner. Plant Cell 26: 2676-88.

5.      Huang PY, Yeh YH, Liu AC, Cheng CP, Zimmerli L. (2014) The Arabidopsis LecRK-VI.2 associates with the pattern-recognition receptor FLS2 and primes Nicotiana benthamiana pattern-triggered immunity. Plant J 79: 243-55.

6.      Huang TY, Desclos-Theveniau M, Chien CT, Zimmerli L. (2013) Arabidopsis thaliana transgenics overexpressing IBR3 demonstrate enhanced susceptibility to bacteria Pseudomonas syringae. Plant Biol 15: 832-40.

7.      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.

8.      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.

9.      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.

10.    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.

11.    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.

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

13.    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.

14.    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.

15.    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.  

16.    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.

17.    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.

18.    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. 

19.    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).

20.    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). 

21.    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. 

22.    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. 

23.    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. 

24.    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.

25.    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.


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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