Prof. dr. ir. Corné M.J. Pieterse & Dr. Peter A.H.M. Bakker

Prof. Corné M.J. Pieterse & Dr. Peter A.H.M. Bakker
Utrecht University, Department of Biology
Plant-Microbe Interactions


Plant defense signaling pathways, induced systemic resistance & biotic stress, plant development, plant pathology, rhizosphere microbiology, beneficial rhizobacteria, metagenomics. The UU group pioneered the research field of PGPR-mediated plant responses. Using various crop species and Arabidopsis thaliana as a model, important microbial determinants and major components of the PGPR-induced systemic resistance (ISR) signaling pathway have been uncovered. They demonstrated that PGPR-ISR is controlled by the hormones jasmonic acid and ethylene and depends on the transcriptional (co)activators NPR1, MYB72, and MYC2. In addition, they showed that ISR-inducing rhizobacteria do not directly activate the plant immune system, but prime plants for enhanced defense resulting in a broad-spectrum disease resistance.


ERC Advanced Investigator Grant and NWO VICI Grant and elected member of the KNAW (Pieterse).


Top 3 publications

  • Berendsen, R.L., Pieterse, C.M.J. and Bakker, P.A.H.M. (2012). The rhizosphere microbiome and plant health. Trends in Plant Science 17: 478-486.
  • Mendes, R., Kruijt, M., De Bruijn, I., Dekkers, E., Van der Voort, M., Schneider, J.H.M., Piceno, Y.M., DeSantis, T.Z., Andersen, G.L., Bakker, P.A.H.M. and Raaijmakers, J.M. (2011). Deciphering the rhizosphere microbiome for disease-suppressive bacteria. Science 332: 1097-1100.
  • Zamioudis, C., Mastranesti, P., Dhonukshe, P., Blilou, I. and Pieterse, C.M.J. (2013). Unraveling root developmental programs initiated by beneficial Pseudomonas bacteria. Plant Physiology 162: 304-318.