Fungi, Plant Pathogen, Plant-Microbe Interaction

Dr Soledad Sacristán

ORCID: 0000-0002-5753-2644

Associate Professor – SPAIN

Department of Biotechnology and Plant Biology – ETSIAABTechnical University of Madrid (UPM)


Campus Ciudad Universitaria
Av. Puerta de Hierro, nº 2 – 4
28040 Madrid



The aim of my research is to study the fungal endophytes of Arabidopsis thaliana in order to establish model systems to generate and test hypothesis about the general principles underlying the endophytic lifestyle. The vast majority of plants of natural ecosystems are colonized by endophytes, and this situation can be beneficial for the plant in many cases. However, some of the endophytic fungi are related to latent pathogens and saprotrophs that cause severe pre and post-harvest losses.

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Selected publications

  1. Hacquard S., Kracher B., Hiruma K., Münch P.C., Garrido-Oter R., Thon M.R., Weimann A., Damm U., Dallery J.F., Hainaut M., Henrissat B., Lespinet O., Sacristán S., Ver Loren van Themaat E., Kemen E., McHardy A.C., Schulze-Lefert P., O’Connell, R.J., 2016. Survival trade-offs in plant roots during colonization by closely related beneficial and pathogenic fungi. Nature Communications 7:11362 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11362.
  2. Hiruma K., Gerlach N., Sacristán S., Nakano R.T., Hacquard S., Kracher B., Neumann U., Ramírez D., Bucher M., O’Connell R.J., Schulze-Lefert P., 2016. Root endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae confers plant fitness benefits that are phosphate status-dependent. Cell 165:  464-474. DOI:
  3. Amselem J., Vigouroux M., Oberhaensli S., Brown J.K.M., Bindschedler L.V., Skamnioti P., Wicker T., Spanu P.D., Quesneville H., Sacristán S., 2015. Evolution of the EKA family of powdery mildew avirulence-effector genes from the ORF 1 of a LINE retrotransposon. BMC Genomics 16: 917-931.
  4. García E., Alonso A., Platas G., Sacristán S., 2013. The endophytic mycobiota of Arabidopsis thaliana. Fungal Diversity 60: 71-89.
  5. Spanu P.D. y col. (autora nº 52 de 63). 2010.  Genome expansion and gene loss in powdery mildew fungi reveal functional tradeoffs in extreme parasitism. Science 330: 1543-1546.