Plant Cell Biology (Lipka)
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Research group Wiermer

Nucleocytoplasmic signaling in plant cellular immunity

Research interests
Lab members

Research interests

Research efforts in our laboratory are directed towards understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating spatial communication between the cytoplasm and the nucleus in plant cellular immunity to pathogenic microbes, using Arabidopsis as model organism. Here, we employ biochemical, cell biological, genetic and molecular approaches to study the functions of nuclear transport receptors (NTRs) and nuclear pore complex proteins (Nucleoporins) that are essential for plant disease resistance and control nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of proteins and RNAs. Our studies further include in planta affinity purification approaches, forward and reverse genetics to identify novel biochemical and genetic interactors required for plant defense. Another line of research is aimed at exploring in planta molecular functions of secreted fungal effector proteins that are targeted into host cell nuclei during infection and at identifying respective host cell NTRs that mediate nuclear effector translocation.


(# co-corresponding authors, * shared first authors)

Huang, Y., Minaker, S., Roth, C., Huang, S., Hieter, P., Lipka, V., Wiermer, M. and Li, X. (2014). An E4 Ligase Facilitates Polyubiquitination of Plant Immune Receptor Resistance Proteins in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 26, 485-496.

Huang, Y., Chen, X., Liu, Y., Roth, C., Copeland, C., McFarlane, H.E., Huang, S., Lipka, V., Wiermer, M. and Li, X. (2013). Mitochondrial AtPAM16 is required for plant survival and the negative regulation of plant immunity. Nat Commun 4, 2558.

Bhavsar, A.P., Brown, N.F., Stoepel, J., Wiermer, M., Martin, D.D.O., Hsu, K.J., Imami, K., Ross, C.J., Hayden M.R., Foster, L.J., Li, X., Hieter, P. and Finlay, B.B. (2013). The Salmonella Type III Effector SspH2 Specifically Exploits the NLR Co-chaperone Activity of SGT1 to Subvert Immunity. PLoS Pathog 9, e1003518.

Wirthmueller, L.#, Roth, C., Banfield, M.J. and Wiermer, M.# (2013). Hop-on hop-off: importin-α-guided tours to the nucleus in innate immune signaling. Front Plant Sci 4, 149.

Schön, M., Töller, A., Diezel, C., Roth, C., Westphal, L., Wiermer, M. and Somssich, I.E. (2013). Analyses of wrky18 wrky40 Plants Reveal Critical Roles of SA/EDS1 Signaling and Indole-Glucosinolate Biosynthesis for Golovinomyces orontii Resistance and a Loss-of Resistance Towards Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato AvrRPS4. MPMI 26, 758-767.

Roth, C. and Wiermer, M. (2012). Nucleoporins Nup160 and Seh1 are required for disease resistance in Arabidopsis. Plant Signal Behav 7, 1212-1214.

Wiermer, M.#, Cheng, Y.T., Imkampe, J., Li, M., Wang, D., Lipka, V. and Li, X.# (2012). Putative members of the Arabidopsis Nup107-160 nuclear pore sub-complex contribute to pathogen defense. Plant J 70, 796-808.

Xu, F., Xu, S., Wiermer, M., Zhang, Y. and Li, X. (2012). The cyclin L homolog MOS12 and the MOS4-associated complex are required for proper splicing of plant Resistance genes. Plant J 70, 916-928.

Wiermer, M., Germain, H., Cheng, Y.T., García, A.V., Parker, J.E. and Li, X. (2010). Nucleoporin MOS7/Nup88 contributes to Plant Immunity and Nuclear Accumulation of Defense Regulators. Nucleus 1, 332-336.

Zhu, Z., Xu, F., Zhang, Y., Cheng, Y.T., Wiermer, M., Li, X. and Zhang, Y. (2010). Arabidopsis resistance protein SNC1 activates immune responses through association with a transcriptional co-repressor. PNAS 107, 13960-13965.

García, A.V., Blanvillain-Baufumé, S., Huibers, R.P., Wiermer, M., Li, G., Gobbato, E., Rietz, S. and Parker, J.E. (2010). Balanced nuclear and cytoplasmic activities of EDS1 are required for a complete plant innate immune response. PLoS Pathog 6, e1000970.

Cheng Y.T.*, Germain, H.*, Wiermer, M.*, Bi, D.*, García, A.V., Wirthmueller, L., Després, C., Parker, J.E., Zhang, Y. and Li, X. (2009). Nuclear Pore Complex Component MOS7/Nup88 Is Required for Innate Immunity and Nuclear Accumulation of Defense Regulators in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 21, 2503-2516.


Palma, K., Wiermer, M. and Li, X. (2008). Marshalling the troops: intracellular dynamics in plant pathogen defense. In: Molecular Aspects of Plant Disease Resistance. Parker JE (Ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, Annu Plant Rev 34, 177-219.

Wiermer, M., Palma, K., Zhang, Y. and Li, X. (2007). Should I stay or should I go? Nucleocytoplasmic trafficking in plant innate immunity. Cell Microbiol 9, 1880-1890.

Lipka, V., Dittgen, J., Bednarek, P., Bhat, R., Wiermer, M., Stein, M., Landtag, J., Brandt, W., Rosahl, S., Scheel, D., Llorente, F., Molina, A., Parker, J., Somerville, S. and Schulze-Lefert, P. (2005). Pre- and Postinvasion Defenses Both Contribute to Nonhost Resistance in Arabidopsis. Science 310, 1180-1183.

Feys, B.J.*, Wiermer, M.*, Bhat, R.A., Moisan, L.J., Medina-Escobar, N., Neu, C., Cabral, A. and Parker, J.E. (2005). Arabidopsis SENESCENCE-ASSOCIATED GENE101 Stabilizes and Signals within an ENHANCED DISEASE SUSCEPTIBILITY1 Complex in Plant Innate Immunity. Plant Cell 17, 2601-2613.

[The latter two articles were featured in:
Ellis, J. (2006). Insights into nonhost disease resistance: Can they assist disease control in agriculture? Plant Cell 18: 523-528.]

Wiermer, M., Feys, B.J. and Parker, J.E. (2005). Plant immunity: the EDS1 regulatory node. Curr Opin Plant Biol 8, 383-389.

Current lab members

Melanie Klenke (Technician)
Daniel Lüdke (B.Sc. student)
Charlotte Roth (Ph.D. student)
Marcel Wiermer (Project leader)

Lab alumni

Bianca Genenncher (M.Sc. student)
Julia Imkampe (M.Sc. student)
Stefan Kusch (M.Sc. student)
Annalena Quathamer (B.Sc. student)
Dimitri Stepanets (B.Sc. & M.Sc. student)
Yvonne Ziegler (M.Sc. student)

Marcel Wiermer

Georg-August-University Goettingen
Schwann-Schleiden Centre
Department of Plant Cell Biology
Julia-Lermontowa-Weg 3
37077 Goettingen

Dr. Marcel Wiermer

Phone.: ++49 (0)551 / 39-177805 office
Phone.: ++49 (0)551 / 39-177808 lab
Fax: ++49 (0)551 / 39-177809