Joint Calls


  • Acronym SIPIS
  • Duration 36
  • Project leader Nürnberger, Thorsten (PL), Germany, Tübingen EKU
  • Other project participants Stougaard, Jens, Denmark, U Aarhus
    Lipka, Volker, Germany, Göttingen U
    Ferrari, Simone, Italy, U degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"
    Thomma, Bart, The Netherlands, Wageningen University
  • Funding
  • Total Granted budget ca. € 1.460.100


Novel strategies for crop improvement and protection aim at enhancing host recognition capacities for
potential pathogens, at interfering with virulence strategies employed by microbial pathogens or at
taking advantages of natural symbioses. Implementation of such technologies requires substantial
advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing plant-microbe interactions.
Plant lysin motif (LysM) domain receptors have evolved to recognize microbe-derived Nacetylglucosamine
(NAG)-containing ligands. For example, LysM-type immune receptors mediate
sensing of microbe-derived patterns chitin or peptidoglycan thereby mediating plant immunity to
fungal or bacterial infection, respectively. Likewise, recognition by plant LysM-type receptors of
microbe-derived NAG-containing lipo-chitooligosaccharides establishes root symbioses between host
plants and soil borne rhizobacteria or mycorrhizal fungi. Plant pathogenic microbes have further been
shown to employ LysM-type effector proteins to subvert plant immunity. It is thus most reasonable to
assume that a sophisticated mechanistic understanding of the architecture, the mode of assembly and
of structural features determining ligand specificity of LysM proteins holds great promise for
modulating plant-microbe interactions and for enhancing crop quality in the future.
The proposed research consortium brings together five European Partners with longstanding and
complementary experience in exploring the functionality of LysM domain proteins implicated in plant
symbiosis and immunity. The experimental systems to be used comprise Arabidopsis thaliana immune
receptors AtCERK1 (chitin sensor), AtLYM1/AtLYM3 (peptidoglycan sensors) and AtLysM2, Lotus
japonicus nodulation factor sensors LjNFR1 and LjNFR5, and Cladosporium fulvum CfECP6 and
Mycosphaerella graminicola LysM effectors (chitin or chitin/peptidoglycan sensors). The proposed
work plan serves ERA-CAPS themes 'Biotic Stress' and 'Food Security' and comprises four objectives:
(I) Elucidation of the structural determinants within LysM proteins that govern ligand specificities and
affinities by means of protein X-ray analysis and comprehensive analysis of LysM protein ligand
affinity measurements,
(II) LysM receptor-ligand complex architecture and stoichiometry analysis by advanced biochemical
and protein microscopical techniques,
(III) Molecular analyses of LysM receptor-mediated transmembrane signaling, intra- and intercellular
signal generation by means of state-of-the-art biochemical and genetic approaches, and
(IV) Exploitation of 3D-structural information of LysM receptors for computational drug design
strategies that aim at isolating agonists of plant immunity.
Back to ERA-CAPS Funded Project list


Supported by