Cécile Segonzac

Massey University, Palmerston North City, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand

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Publications (18)210.44 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Defense against pathogens in multicellular eukaryotes depends on intracellular immune receptors, yet surveillance by these receptors is poorly understood. Several plant NB-LRR (Nucleotide-Binding, Leucine-Rich Repeat) immune receptors carry fusions with other protein domains. The Arabidopsis RRS1-R NB-LRR protein carries a C-terminal WRKY DNA binding domain, and forms a receptor complex with RPS4, another NB-LRR protein. This complex detects bacterial effectors AvrRps4 or PopP2, and then activates defense. PopP2 and AvrRps4 interact with the RRS1 WRKY domain, and PopP2 acetylates WRKY motif lysines, blocking DNA binding. PopP2 and AvrRps4 interact with other WRKY proteins, suggesting these effectors interfere with WRKY transcription factor-dependent defense, and that RPS4/RRS1 has integrated a “decoy” domain that enables detection of effectors that target WRKY proteins. We propose that NB-LRR receptor pairs, one member of which carries an additional protein domain, enable perception of pathogen effectors whose function is to target that domain.
    Cell 03/2015; accepted(in press). · 33.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plant perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) triggers a phosphorylation relay leading to PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI). Despite increasing knowledge of PTI signaling, how immune homeostasis is maintained remains largely unknown. Here we describe a forward-genetic screen to identify loci involved in PTI and characterize the Arabidopsis calcium-dependent protein kinase CPK28 as a negative regulator of immune signaling. Genetic analyses demonstrate that CPK28 attenuates PAMP-triggered immune responses and antibacterial immunity. CPK28 interacts with and phosphorylates the plasma-membrane-associated cytoplasmic kinase BIK1, an important convergent substrate of multiple pattern recognition receptor (PRR) complexes. We find that BIK1 is rate limiting in PTI signaling and that it is continuously turned over to maintain cellular homeostasis. We further show that CPK28 contributes to BIK1 turnover. Our results suggest a negative regulatory mechanism that continually buffers immune signaling by controlling the turnover of this key signaling kinase.
    Cell host & microbe 11/2014; 16(5):605-615. DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2014.10.007 · 12.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plant nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) disease resistance (R) proteins recognize specific “avirulent” pathogen effectors and activate immune responses. NB-LRR proteins structurally and functionally resemble mammalian Nod-like receptors (NLRs). How NB-LRR and NLR proteins activate defense is poorly understood. The divergently transcribed Arabidopsis R genes, RPS4 (resistance to Pseudomonas syringae 4) and RRS1 (resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum 1), function together to confer recognition of Pseudomonas AvrRps4 and Ralstonia PopP2. RRS1 is the only known recessive NB-LRR R gene and encodes a WRKY DNA binding domain, prompting suggestions that it acts downstream of RPS4 for transcriptional activation of defense genes. We define here the early RRS1-dependent transcriptional changes upon delivery of PopP2 via Pseudomonas type III secretion. The Arabidopsis slh1 (sensitive to low humidity 1) mutant encodes an RRS1 allele (RRS1SLH1) with a single amino acid (leucine) insertion in the WRKY DNA-binding domain. Its poor growth due to constitutive defense activation is rescued at higher temperature. Transcription profiling data indicate that RRS1SLH1-mediated defense activation overlaps substantially with AvrRps4- and PopP2-regulated responses. To better understand the genetic basis of RPS4/RRS1-dependent immunity, we performed a genetic screen to identify suppressor of slh1 immunity (sushi) mutants. We show that many sushi mutants carry mutations in RPS4, suggesting that RPS4 acts downstream or in a complex with RRS1. Interestingly, several mutations were identified in a domain C-terminal to the RPS4 LRR domain. Using an Agrobacterium-mediated transient assay system, we demonstrate that the P-loop motif of RPS4 but not of RRS1SLH1 is required for RRS1SLH1 function. We also recapitulate the dominant suppression of RRS1SLH1 defense activation by wild type RRS1 and show this suppression requires an intact RRS1 P-loop. These analyses of RRS1SLH1 shed new light on mechanisms by which NB-LRR protein pairs activate defense signaling, or are held inactive in the absence of a pathogen effector.
    PLoS Genetics 10/2014; 10(10). DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004655 · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by surface-localized pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) activates plant innate immunity, mainly through activation of numerous protein kinases. Appropriate induction of immune responses must be tightly regulated, as many of the kinases involved have an intrinsic high activity and are also regulated by other external and endogenous stimuli. Previous evidences suggest that PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI) is under constant negative regulation by protein phosphatases but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we show that protein Ser/Thr phosphatase type 2A (PP2A) controls the activation of PRR complexes by modulating the phosphostatus of the co-receptor and positive regulator BAK1. A potential PP2A holoenzyme composed of the subunits A1, C4, and B'η/ζ inhibits immune responses triggered by several PAMPs and anti-bacterial immunity. PP2A constitutively associates with BAK1 in planta. Impairment in this PP2A-based regulation leads to increased steady-state BAK1 phosphorylation, which can poise enhanced immune responses. This work identifies PP2A as an important negative regulator of plant innate immunity that controls BAK1 activation in surface-localized immune receptor complexes.
    The EMBO Journal 08/2014; DOI:10.15252/embj.201488698 · 10.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Next Generation Sequencing technologies have facilitated differential gene expression analysis through RNA-seq and Tag-seq methods. RNA-seq has biases associated with transcript lengths, lacks uniform coverage of regions in mRNA and requires 10–20 times more reads than a typical Tag-seq. Most existing Tag-seq methods either have biases or not high throughput due to use of restriction enzymes or enzymatic manipulation of 5’ ends of mRNA or use of RNA ligations. Results We have developed EXpression Profiling through Randomly Sheared cDNA tag Sequencing (EXPRSS) that employs acoustic waves to randomly shear cDNA and generate sequence tags at a relatively defined position (~150-200 bp) from the 3′ end of each mRNA. Implementation of the method was verified through comparative analysis of expression data generated from EXPRSS, NlaIII-DGE and Affymetrix microarray and through qPCR quantification of selected genes. EXPRSS is a strand specific and restriction enzyme independent tag sequencing method that does not require cDNA length-based data transformations. EXPRSS is highly reproducible, is high-throughput and it also reveals alternative polyadenylation and polyadenylated antisense transcripts. It is cost-effective using barcoded multiplexing, avoids the biases of existing SAGE and derivative methods and can reveal polyadenylation position from paired-end sequencing. Conclusions EXPRSS Tag-seq provides sensitive and reliable gene expression data and enables high-throughput expression profiling with relatively simple downstream analysis.
    BMC Genomics 05/2014; 15(1):341. DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-15-341 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytoplasmic plant immune receptors recognize specific pathogen effector proteins and initiate effector-triggered immunity. In Arabidopsis, the immune receptors RPS4 and RRS1 are both required to activate defense to three different pathogens. We show that RPS4 and RRS1 physically associate. Crystal structures of the N-terminal Toll-interleukin-1 receptor/resistance (TIR) domains of RPS4 and RRS1, individually and as a heterodimeric complex (respectively at 2.05, 1.75, and 2.65 angstrom resolution), reveal a conserved TIR/TIR interaction interface. We show that TIR domain heterodimerization is required to form a functional RRS1/RPS4 effector recognition complex. The RPS4 TIR domain activates effector-independent defense, which is inhibited by the RRS1 TIR domain through the heterodimerization interface. Thus, RPS4 and RRS1 function as a receptor complex in which the two components play distinct roles in recognition and signaling.
    Science 04/2014; 344(6181):299-303. DOI:10.1126/science.1247357 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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    Dataset: Macho.SM
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    ABSTRACT: Innate immunity relies on the perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) located on the host cell's surface. Many plant PRRs are kinases. Here, we report that the Arabidopsis receptor kinase EF-TU RECEPTOR EFR, which perceives the elf18 peptide derived from bacterial elongation factor Tu, is activated upon ligand binding by phosphorylation on its tyrosine residues. Phosphorylation of a single tyrosine residue, Y836, is required for activation of EFR and downstream immunity to the phytopathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. A tyrosine phosphatase, HopAO1, secreted by P. syringae, reduces EFR phosphorylation and derails subsequent immune responses. Thus host and pathogen battle to take control of PRR tyrosine phosphorylation used to initiate anti-bacterial immunity.
    Science 03/2014; DOI:10.1126/science.1248849 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: eLife digest Like all organisms, plants must perform a careful balancing act with their resources. Investing in the growth of new roots or leaves can allow a plant to better exploit its environment—but it must not be at the expense of leaving the plant vulnerable to attack by pests and pathogens. As such, there is an obvious trade-off between allocating resources to growth or defense against disease. This trade-off must be finely balanced, and must also be responsive to different cues in the environment that would favor either growth or defense. The plant’s immune system is able to detect invading microbes, and trigger a defensive response against them. At the surface of plant cells, proteins called pattern recognition receptors are able to recognize specific molecules that are the tell-tale signs of microbes and pathogens—such as the proteins in the molecular tails that bacteria use to move around. For many pattern recognition receptors, signaling that they have recognized a potential invading microbe requires the actions of a co-receptor called BAK1. Interestingly, BAK1 also interacts with the receptor that identifies brassinosteroids—hormones that stimulate plant growth. Since growth and a functioning immune system are both reliant on BAK1, it was hypothesized that competition for this co-receptor could have a role in the trade-off between the two processes in plants. However, this explanation was controversial and the mechanisms underlying the trade-off still required clarification. Now, Lozano-Durán et al. have debunked the idea that competition for BAK1 is directly responsible for the trade-off between growth and immunity. By examining how BAK1 interacts with immune receptors in the plant model species Arabidopsis thaliana, the trade-off was actually shown to be independent of BAK1. Instead, it was discovered that activation of a protein, called BZR1, reprogramed gene expression to ‘switch off’ immune signaling in response to brassinosteroids. Lozano-Durán et al. also show that BZR1 allows the balance of the trade-off between growth and immunity to be shifted in response to cues from the environment. The suppression of the immune system by BZR1 was particularly pronounced when the conditions required fast plant growth—for example, when they mimicked the conditions experienced by seedlings before they emerge from the soil, and must grow swiftly to reach the light before they starve. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00983.002
    eLife Sciences 12/2013; 2:e00983. DOI:10.7554/eLife.00983 · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Arabidopsis thaliana leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase FLAGELLIN SENSING2 (FLS2) is required for the recognition of bacterial flagellin in innate immunity. Recently, FLS2 was proposed to act as a multispecific receptor recognizing unrelated exogenous and endogenous peptide ligands, including CLAVATA3 (CLV3), a key regulator of shoot meristem stem cell production. Here, we report experimental evidence demonstrating that FLS2 does not recognize CLV3 and that the shoot apical meristem is immune to bacteria independently of CLV3 perception.
    The Plant Cell 08/2012; 24(8):3186-92. DOI:10.1105/tpc.111.091264 · 9.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detailed phenotypic characterization reveals that several BAK1 fusion proteins with C-terminal tags strongly impair complementation of bak1 null mutants with respect to responsiveness to the bacterial pathogen-associated molecular patterns flagellin and EF-Tu. This raises concerns about the widespread use of such protein variants of this important regulatory Leu-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (RLK) for functional analyses of RLK-based signaling.
    The Plant Cell 11/2011; 23(11):3871-8. DOI:10.1105/tpc.111.090779 · 9.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plants and animals use innate immunity as a first defense against pathogens, a costly yet necessary tradeoff between growth and immunity. In Arabidopsis, the regulatory leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (LRR-RLK) BAK1 combines with the LRR-RLKs FLS2 and EFR in pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI) and the LRR-RLK BRI1 in brassinosteroid (BR)-mediated growth. Therefore, a potential tradeoff between these pathways mediated by BAK1 is often postulated. Here, we show a unidirectional inhibition of FLS2-mediated immune signaling by BR perception. Unexpectedly, this effect occurred downstream or independently of complex formation with BAK1 and associated downstream phosphorylation. Thus, BAK1 is not rate-limiting in these pathways. BRs also inhibited signaling triggered by the BAK1-independent recognition of the fungal PAMP chitin. Our results suggest a general mechanism operative in plants in which BR-mediated growth directly antagonizes innate immune signaling.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2011; 109(1):303-8. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1109921108 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our current understanding of pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity signaling pathways in plants is limited due to the redundancy of several components or the lethality of mutants in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). To overcome this, we used a virus-induced gene silencing-based approach in combination with pharmacological studies to decipher links between early PAMP-triggered immunity events and their roles in immunity following PAMP perception in Nicotiana benthamiana. Two different calcium influx inhibitors suppressed the reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst: activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and PAMP-induced gene expression. The calcium burst was unaffected in plants specifically silenced for components involved in ROS generation or for MAPKs activated by PAMP treatment. Importantly, the ROS burst still occurred in plants silenced for the two major defense-associated MAPK genes NbSIPK (for salicylic acid-induced protein kinase) and NbWIPK (for wound-induced protein kinase) or for both genes simultaneously, demonstrating that these MAPKs are dispensable for ROS production. We further show that NbSIPK silencing is sufficient to prevent PAMP-induced gene expression but that both MAPKs are required for bacterial immunity against two virulent strains of Pseudomonas syringae and their respective nonpathogenic mutants. These results suggest that the PAMP-triggered calcium burst is upstream of separate signaling branches, one leading to MAPK activation and then gene expression and the other to ROS production. In addition, this study highlights the essential roles of NbSIPK and NbWIPK in antibacterial immunity. Unexpectedly, negative regulatory mechanisms controlling the intensity of the PAMP-triggered calcium and ROS bursts were also revealed by this work.
    Plant physiology 06/2011; 156(2):687-99. DOI:10.1104/pp.110.171249 · 7.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The plant cell wall is a dynamic and complex structure whose functional integrity is constantly being monitored and maintained during development and interactions with the environment. In response to cell wall damage (CWD), putatively compensatory responses, such as lignin production, are initiated. In this context, lignin deposition could reinforce the cell wall to maintain functional integrity. Lignin is important for the plant's response to environmental stress, for reinforcement during secondary cell wall formation, and for long-distance water transport. Here, we identify two stages and several components of a genetic network that regulate CWD-induced lignin production in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). During the early stage, calcium and diphenyleneiodonium-sensitive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production are required to induce a secondary ROS burst and jasmonic acid (JA) accumulation. During the second stage, ROS derived from the NADPH oxidase RESPIRATORY BURST OXIDASE HOMOLOG D and JA-isoleucine generated by JASMONIC ACID RESISTANT1, form a negative feedback loop that can repress each other's production. This feedback loop in turn seems to influence lignin accumulation. Our results characterize a genetic network enabling plants to regulate lignin biosynthesis in response to CWD through dynamic interactions between JA and ROS.
    Plant physiology 05/2011; 156(3):1364-74. DOI:10.1104/pp.111.175737 · 7.39 Impact Factor
  • Cécile Segonzac, Cyril Zipfel
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    ABSTRACT: The first active layer of plant innate immunity relies on the recognition by surface receptors of molecules indicative of non-self or modified-self. The activation of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) is in essence sufficient to stop pathogen invasion through transcriptional reprogramming and production of anti-microbials. The few PRR/PAMP pairs that are characterised provide useful models to study the specificity of ligand-binding and likely activation mechanisms. Both classical and new approaches are still required to identify new bacterial PAMPs. Current genetic screens, functional genomics and biochemical analyses have identified the regulation mechanisms of PRR transcription and biogenesis, provided insights into the composition of PRR complexes at the plasma membrane and highlighted the roles of long-known signalling components in PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI).
    Current opinion in microbiology 02/2011; 14(1):54-61. DOI:10.1016/j.mib.2010.12.005 · 7.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In plant innate immunity, the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase FLS2 recognizes the bacterial pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) flagellin. The molecular mechanisms underlying PAMP perception are not fully understood. Here, we reveal that the gaseous phytohormone ethylene is an integral part of PAMP-triggered immunity. Plants mutated in the key ethylene-signaling protein EIN2 are impaired in all FLS2-mediated responses, correlating with reduced FLS2 transcription and protein accumulation. The EIN3 and EIN3-like transcription factors, which depend on EIN2 activity for their accumulation, directly control FLS2 expression. Our results reveal a direct role for ethylene in regulation of an innate immune receptor.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2010; 107(32):14502-7. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1003347107 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Root NO(3)(-) efflux to the outer medium is a component of NO(3)(-) net uptake and can even overcome influx upon various stresses. Its role and molecular basis are unknown. Following a functional biochemical approach, NAXT1 (for NITRATE EXCRETION TRANSPORTER1) was identified by mass spectrometry in the plasma membrane (PM) of Arabidopsis thaliana suspension cells, a localization confirmed using a NAXT1-Green Fluorescent Protein fusion protein. NAXT1 belongs to a subclass of seven NAXT members from the large NITRATE TRANSPORTER1/PEPTIDE TRANSPORTER family and is mainly expressed in the cortex of mature roots. The passive NO(3)(-) transport activity (K(m) = 5 mM) in isolated root PM, electrically coupled to the ATP-dependant H(+)-pumping activity, is inhibited by anti-NAXT antibodies. In standard culture conditions, NO(3)(-) contents were altered in plants expressing NAXT-interfering RNAs but not in naxt1 mutant plants. Upon acid load, unidirectional root NO(3)(-) efflux markedly increased in wild-type plants, leading to a prolonged NO(3)(-) excretion regime concomitant with a decrease in root NO(3)(-) content. In vivo and in vitro mutant phenotypes revealed that this response is mediated by NAXT1, whose expression is upregulated at the posttranscriptional level. Strong medium acidification generated a similar response. In vitro, the passive efflux of NO(3)(-) (but not of Cl(-)) was strongly impaired in naxt1 mutant PM. This identification of NO(3)(-) efflux transporters at the PM of plant cells opens the way to molecular studies of the physiological role of NO(3)(-) efflux in stressed or unstressed plants.
    The Plant Cell 12/2007; 19(11):3760-77. DOI:10.1105/tpc.106.048173 · 9.58 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

462 Citations
210.44 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Massey University
      • Institute of Agriculture and Environment
      Palmerston North City, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
  • 2010–2014
    • The Sainsbury Laboratory
      Norwich, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • Norwich University
      Northfield, Vermont, United States
  • 2011
    • Imperial College London
      • Department of Life Sciences
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom