Plant cell wall-derived damage-associated molecular patterns: signaling and homeostasis in immunity and development

Proponente Giulia De Lorenzo - Professore Ordinario
Sottosettore ERC del proponente del progetto
Componenti gruppo di ricerca
Componente Categoria
Vincenzo Lionetti Componenti il gruppo di ricerca
Lucia Marti Dottorando/Assegnista/Specializzando componente il gruppo di ricerca
Simone Ferrari Componenti il gruppo di ricerca
Componente Qualifica Struttura Categoria
Daniela Pontiggia Tecnico Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologia C. Darwin Altro personale Sapienza o esterni

PLEASE NOTE: Four publications appear in the list with no IF.
Principal Investigator (PI): Plant J (2017): IF 5.5; PNAS (2015): IF 9.674.
Marti: J Exp Botany (2014): IF 5,7; Envir and Exp Botany (2016): IF 3.7.
With these, SUM OF IFs: PI=84.413; ALL (PI+PARTICIPANTS)=138,086

Total H- index of the group: 80 (PI:42; S.F. 18; V.L. 13; L.M. 7)

Endogenous ligands termed "damage-associated molecular patterns" (DAMPs) are involved in several key processes in both animals and plants, from development, to homeostasis and pathology caused by both endogenous and exogenous sources. DAMPs often trigger complex responses that, besides inflammation and metabolic changes, include tissue maintenance/repair processes. In animals and plants, fragments of two linear and acidic high molecular weight polysaccharides of the extracellular matrix, hyaluronan (HA) in vertebrates and homogalacturonan (HGA) in plants, are specifically perceived as DAMPs. Fragments of 10-16 residues of HA and HGA [the latter indicated as oligogalacturonides (OGs)] show the highest immune-stimulant activity. This project focuses on OGs, with the goal of proving that these molecules are important signals in both development and growth-defence trade-off. We will use a novel approach based on the release of OGs in planta on command by an engineered inducible molecular tool named OG-machine (OGM) that allows a targeted expression of the OGM at the cell/tissue level to dissect the OG function. OGs at high levels trigger a deleterious hyper-immunity, and homeostatic mechanisms that prevent their hyper-accumulation must exist. We aim at demonstrating that inactivation played by newly discovered specific OG oxidases (OGOXs) belonging to the complex berberine-bridge enzyme-like (BBEl) family is one of such mechanisms. Disentangling the role of bioactive oligosaccharides in growth-defence trade-off may lead to novel strategies to obtain plants more resistant to pathogens, yet with normal/better growth performance.


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