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Prof. Dr. Natalia Requena

Curriculum Vitae

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT
Botanical Institute
Molecular Phytopathology


Fritz Haber-Weg 4

Geb. 30.43, 2. OG

D-76131 Karlsruhe


Phone:  +49 721 608-44626

Secret.: +49 721 608-44632

Fax:      +49 721 608-44509



natalia requenaXnb9∂kit edu


Molecular Phytopathology Department

The Myc-Lab

Welcome to the Molecular Phytopathology Department!

Our group belongs to the Botanical Institute, and we recently moved to the South Campus of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in the Building 30.43, 2nd. Floor. We share the infrastructure with two Departments (Microbiology and  Genetics) from the Institute for Applied Biosciences. The research focus of our group is the molecular understanding of the interaction between microorganisms, particularly fungi, and plants.

Our latest paper in Current Biology:

On how symbiotic fungi modify plant cell program!

Symbiotic fungi control plant root cortex development through the novel GRAS transcription factor MIG1

by Carolin Heck, Hannah Kuhn, Sven Heidt, Stefanie Walter, Nina Rieger and Natalia Requena

Current Biology (2016) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.059



AM fungal rewiring of potato SWEETs
AM fungi rewire plant sugar allocation to roots


Arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis induces a major transcriptional reprogramming of the potato SWEET sugar transporter family

by Manck-Götzenberger J and Requena N (2016)

Frontiers in Plant Science (doi:  10.3389/fpls.2016.00487)


Biotrophic microbes feeding on plants must obtain carbon from their hosts without killing the cells. The symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi colonizing plant roots do so by inducing major transcriptional changes in the host that ultimately also reprogram the whole carbon partitioning of the plant. Recently a novel type of plant sugar transporter, the SWEET, able to perform not only uptake but also efflux from cells was identified. Plant SWEETs have been shown to be involved in the feeding of pathogenic microbes and are, therefore, good candidates to play a similar role in symbiotic associations. Here we have carried out the first phylogenetic and expression analyses of the potato SWEET family and investigated its role during mycorrhiza symbiosis. 


Plant J cover
Some of our work in papers

A tandem Kunitz protease inhibitor (KPI106)-serine carboxypeptidase (SCP1) controls mycorrhiza establishment and arbuscule development in Medicago truncatula.

Plant Journal 75:711-725 (2013)
Rech SS, Heidt S, Requena N.

A Secreted Fungal Effector of Glomus intraradices Promotes Symbiotic Biotrophy

Current Biology 21, 1204–1209, July 26, 2011
Silke Kloppholz, Hannah Kuhn, Natalia Requena

Our article was highlighted in Nature Microbiology Reviews:

Establishing the roots of a relationship, van Ooij (2011)

and evaluated in Faculty of 1000 as Exceptional (10)

A versatile monosaccharide transporter that operates in the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus sp. is crucial for the symbiotic relationship with plants

Plant Cell 23: 3812-3823

Nicole Helber, Kathrin Wippel, Norbert Sauer, Sara Schaarschmidt, Bettina Hause, Natalia Requena

Our article was evaluated by Faculty of 1000 as a Must Read (8)

SP7 localizes to the nucleus of the plant
Nützliche von schädlichen Pilzen unterscheiden

KIT-Botaniker entdeckten das für nützliche Symbiosen entscheidende Protein „SP7“. – Mögliches Anwendungsgebiet ist die nachhaltige Landwirtschaft.

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Erste Signale für eine Symbiose

Ein Bericht über unsere Forschung im Biotechnologie und Life Sciences Portal Baden-Württemberg.

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