Laboratories

Plant Immunity

Assoc. Prof. Saijo
Associate Professor
Yusuke SAIJO
Assistant Professor
Kei HIRUMA, Yuri TAJIMA
Labs HP
http://bsw3.naist.jp/saijo/

Outline of Research and Education

In nature, plants cope with a wide range of microbes that reside on the surface of or within plant tissues. Plants disregard or tolerate the presence of these plant-inhabiting endophytic microbes at non-damaging levels, despite an elaborate innate immune system to detect and repel microbes. We hypothesize that plants distinguish pathogens from non-pathogens by sensing “danger” signals (DAMPs) generated upon pathogen challenge in addition to microbial signals (MAMPs). We aim to decipher the molecular principles and mechanisms underlying plant immunity to infectious microbes, with major focuses on signaling crosstalk between MAMP and DAMP receptors, defense-related transcriptional reprogramming and infection strategies of pathogenic and endophytic microbes. We also study the mechanisms by which a subset of endophytic microbes facilitates host adaptation to adverse conditions. We believe that our studies will reveal important insight into general principles of plant-microbe interactions, and thus offer new effective approaches to controlling plant health and growth in sustainable agriculture.

Major Research Topics

  1. Danger sensing and signaling in plant-microbe interactions
  2. Transcriptional reprogramming and priming in plant immunity
  3. Modulation of plant immunity in fluctuating environments
  4. Endophytic and pathogenic microbes in plants
  5. Plant-associated microbiomes

References

  1. Yasuda, Okada and Saijo, Curr. Opin. Plant Biol., 38, 10-18, 2017.
  2. Yamada et al., Science, 354,1427-1430, 2016.
  3. Espinas et al., Front. Plant Sci., 7, 1201, 2016
  4. Hiruma et al., Cell, 165, 464-474, 2016
  5. Hacquard et al., Nature Commun., doi: 10.1038/ncomms11362, 2016
  6. Yamada et al, EMBO J., 35, 46-61, 2016
  7. Ross et al., EMBO J., 33, 62-75, 2014
  8. Tintor et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A., 110, 6211-6216, 2013
  9. Serrano et al., Plant Physiol., 158, 408-422, 2012
  10. Saijo, Cell Microbiol., 12, 716-724, 2010
  11. Lu et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106, 22522-22527, 2009
  12. Saijo et al., EMBO J., 28, 3439-3449, 2009
  13. Saijo et al., Mol. Cell, 31, 607-613, 2008
  14. Shen et al., Science, 315, 1098-1103, 2007
Fig. 1 Layered MAMP- and DAMP-receptor signaling provides an important basis for pathogen resistance.
Fig. 1 Layered MAMP- and DAMP-receptor signaling provides an important basis for pathogen resistance.
Fig. 2 Transcriptional reprogramming and priming in plant immunity. Following the initial defense activation (left arrow) upon recognition of pathogen-associated patterns (PTI) or effectors (ETI), defense-related genes become primed to allow faster and/or greater responses upon second stimulation (right arrow). Histone modifications provide a basis for this immune memory that is sustained in the generation and can be inherited by the next generation.
Fig. 2 Transcriptional reprogramming and priming in plant immunity. Following the initial defense activation (left arrow) upon recognition of pathogen-associated patterns (PTI) or effectors (ETI), defense-related genes become primed to allow faster and/or greater responses upon second stimulation (right arrow). Histone modifications provide a basis for this immune memory that is sustained in the generation and can be inherited by the next generation.
Fig. 3 Root colonization of endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae (Ct). Confocal microscope images of Ct constitutively expressing cytoplasmic GFP (green, labeled by dotted lines) and A. thaliana expressing VAMP722-mRFP (Red). Intracellular hyphae inside a root cortical cell are enveloped by PIP2A-mCherry-labeled host membranes (arrows). 8 day post inoculation. Bar = 10 μm.
Fig. 3 Root colonization of endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae (Ct). Confocal microscope images of Ct constitutively expressing cytoplasmic GFP (green, labeled by dotted lines) and A. thaliana expressing VAMP722-mRFP (Red). Intracellular hyphae inside a root cortical cell are enveloped by PIP2A-mCherry-labeled host membranes (arrows). 8 day post inoculation. Bar = 10 μm.
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