Molecular mechanisms regulating plant resistance against phytopathogenic bacteria



Selena Giménez

Group leader




Research summary



Gimenez-Ibanez S. Designing disease-resistant crops: From basic knowledge to biotechnology. Mètode Science Studies Journal, n11, 2020 ISBN/ISSN: 2174-3487.

Ortigosa A, Gimenez-Ibanez S, Leonhardt N, Solano R. Design of a bacterial speck resistant tomato by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated editing of SlJAZ2. Plant Biotechnol J 2019; 17 (3): 665-673.

Gimenez-Ibanez S, Zamarreño A, Garcia-Mina JM and Solano R. An evolutionarily ancient immune system governs the interactions between Pseudomonas syringae and an early-diverging land plant lineage. Current Biology 2019; 29(14): 2270-2281.

Jimenez-Aleman GH, Almeida-Trapp M, Fernández-Barbero G, Gimenez-Ibanez S, Reichelt M, et al. Omega hydroxylated JA-Ile is an endogenous bioactive jasmonate that signals through the canonical jasmonate signaling pathway. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2019; 64 (12): 158520.



Our research line falls into three areas of fundamental research, that are further combined with an additional directed applied line on important crops attacked by phytopathogenic Pseudomonas bacteria, such as tomato and kiwifruit. My research uses on one side, model plants such as Arabidopsis, Nicotiana and the liverwort Marchantia, to uncover the basic molecular mechanisms controlling hormonal plant immunity and how Pseudomonas bacteria infects hosts though its repertoire of effectors and phytotoxins. On the other side, this generated basic knowledge is directed to study these processes on crops, and to deliver novel strategies for crop protection against two of the most important disease caused by phytopathogenic Pseudomonas, the bacterial speck disease of tomato, caused by P. syringae pv. tomato, and the bacterial canker of kiwifruit, caused by P. syringae pv. actinidiae, by using biotechnology, genome editing, genetic breeding and searching for anti-infective potential novel chemicals among others. The aim is to gain knowledge into the molecular basis of hormonal plant immunity and infection by phytopathogenic Pseudomonas, towards the development of new solutions that could be applied into long-lasting strategies for crop protection against some of the most important diseases caused by Pseudomonas in crops, which negatively affect their cultivation worldwide.

Areas of research:

(1) Chromatin Remodelling Enzymes During Hormonal Signalling in Plant Immunity.

(2) Evolution and Conservation of Immune Plant Hormone Signalling Systems.

(3) Hijacking of Plant Defensive Processes by Bacterial Effectors and Phytotoxins. (4) Applied Crop Research: Inactivation of Bacterial Virulent Systems in Crops.

Gimenez s fig1

Figure Legend:

Disease effects of the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae in the model plants Arabidopsis (left) and Marchantia (middle), and a tomato (right).


 Laboratory Members

Selena Giménez Group Leader
Santiago Michavila Predoctoral scientist

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