Profile – Francisco Javier

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Francisco Javier

Job Title:

Associate Professor


Phone Number:

+34 954554330


My research interests have been focused in the study of diverse aspects of the symbiotic interaction established between rhizobia and legumes, specially in the symbiosis Sinorhizobium (Ensifer) fredii-soybean. In addition, I have also studied the use of plant growth promoting microorganisms in sustainable agriculture and I have also collaborated in projects with SMEs to make bioplastics with bacteria growing in media made with agricultural waste materials and other uses of bacteria in the industry.
During the last 14 years I have studied the role of the Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 type 3 secretion system in the symbiosis with soybean and other economically important legume crops. After the initial steps in which we identified the putative Sinorhizobium fredii T3SS effectors, we are currently interested in the determination of plant targets for these effectors to try to elucidate their exact function in symbiosis.
Since 2003, I have published 26 articles indexed in JCR that have received a total of 455 cites with an average of 16.85 cites per article and my H-index is currently of 14. In addition to these papers I have also written 5 book chapters, I have edited one book for Springer, and I collaborate with some scientific journals and governments, evaluating manuscripts and projects, respectively.

Research Areas:

  • Biological nitrogen fixation
  • Symbiosis
  • Type 3 secretion system
  • Effector
  • Plant defense
  • Sinorhizobium fredii
  • Soybean

Current N-related Projects:

  • The Sinorhizobium fredii symbiotic regulon: identification of key genes involved in the symbiotic interaction with soybean and with the model legume Lotus


1. Hidalgo A, López-Baena FJ, Ruiz-Sainz JE, Vinardell JM. 2017. Studies of rhizobial competitiveness for nodulation in soybean using a non-destructive split-root system. AIMS Microbiology, 3: 323-334.
2. del Cerro P, Pérez-Montaño F, Gil-Serrano A, López-Baena FJ, Megías M, Hungria M, Ollero FJ. 2017. The Rhizobium tropici CIAT 899 NodD2 protein regulates the expression of the nodulation genes under salt stress. Scientific Reports,
3. Jiménez-Guerrero I, Pérez-Montaño F, Medina C, Ollero FJ, López-Baena FJ. 2017. The Sinorhizobium (Ensifer) fredii HH103 nodulation outer protein NopI Is a determinant for efficient nodulation of soybean and cowpea plants. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 83: e02770-16
4. Pérez-Montaño F, Jiménez-Guerrero I, Acosta-Jurado S, Navarro-Gómez P, Ollero FJ, Ruiz-Sainz JE, López-Baena FJ, Vinardell JM. 2016. A transcriptomic analysis of the effect of genistein on Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 reveals novel rhizobial genes putatively involved in symbiosis. Scientific Reports, 6: 31592
5. López-Baena FJ, Ruiz-Sainz JE, Rodríguez-Carvajal MA, Vinardell JM. 2016. Bacterial molecular signals in the Sinorhizobium fredii-soybean symbiosis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17: E755
6. Pérez-Montaño F, Del Cerro P, Jiménez-Guerrero I, López-Baena FJ, Cubo MT, Hungria M, Megías M, Ollero FJ. 2016. RNA-seq analysis of the Rhizobium tropici CIAT 899 transcriptome shows similarities in the activation patterns of symbiotic genes in the presence of apigenin and salt. BMC Genomics, 17: 198
7. Jiménez-Guerrero I, Pérez-Montaño F, Medina C, Ollero FJ, López-Baena FJ. 2015. NopC Is a Rhizobium-specific type 3 secretion system effector secreted by Sinorhizobium (Ensifer) fredii HH103. PLoS One, 10: e0142866
8. Jiménez-Guerrero I, Pérez-Montaño F, Monreal JA, Preston GM, Fones H, Vioque B, Ollero FJ, López-Baena FJ. 2015. The Sinorhizobium (Ensifer) fredii HH103 Type 3 secretion system suppresses early defense responses to effectively nodulate soybean. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, 28: 790-799
9. del Castillo I, Ojeda J, Megías E, Manyani H, López-Baena FJ, Pérez-Montaño F, Bellogín RA, Espuny MR, Cubo MT, Ollero FJ, Megías M. 2015. Isolation of endophytic, epiphytic, and rhizosphere plant growth-promoting bacteria from cultivated rice paddy soils of the Guadalquivir river marshes. Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science, 4: 127-136
10. Pérez-Montaño F, Jiménez-Guerrero I, Del Cerro P, Baena-Ropero I, López-Baena FJ, Ollero FJ, Bellogín R, Lloret J, Espuny MR. 2014. The symbiotic biofilm of Sinorhizobium fredii SMH12, necessary for successful colonization and symbiosis of Glycine max cv Osumi, is regulated by Quorum Sensing systems and inducing flavonoids via NodD1. PLoS One, 9: e105901
11. Pérez-Montaño F, Alías-Villegas C, Bellogín RA, del Cerro P, Espuny MR, Jiménez-Guerrero I, López-Baena FJ, Ollero FJ, Cubo MT. 2014. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production. Microbiological Research, 169: 325-336
12. Dardanelli MS, Fernández de Córdoba FJ, Estévez J, Contreras R, Cubo MT, Rodríguez-Carvajal MA, Gil-Serrano AM, López-Baena FJ, Bellogín R, Manyani H, Ollero FJ, Megías M. 2012. Changes in flavonoids secreted by Phaseolus vulgaris roots in the presence of salt and the plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium Chryseobacterium balustinum. Applied Soil Ecology, 57: 31-38
13. Pérez-Montaño F, Guasch-Vidal B, González-Barroso S, López-Baena FJ, Cubo T, Ollero FJ, Gil-Serrano AM, Rodríguez-Carvajal MA, Bellogín RA, Espuny MR. 2011. Nodulation-gene-inducing flavonoids increase overall production of autoinducers and expression of N-acyl homoserine lactone synthesis genes in rhizobia. Research in Microbiology, 162: 715-723
14. Dardanelli MS, Manyani H, González-Barroso S, Rodríguez-Carvajal MA, Gil-Serrano AM, Espuny MR, López-Baena FJ, Bellogín RA, Megías M, Ollero FJ. 2010. : Effect of the presence of the plant growth promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) Chryseobacterium balustinum Aur9 and salt stress in the pattern of flavonoids exuded by soybean roots. Plant and Soil, 328: 483-493
15. López-Baena FJ, Monreal JA, Pérez-Montaño F, Guasch-Vidal B, Bellogín RA, Vinardell JM, Ollero FJ. 2009. The absence of Nops secretion in Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 increases GmPR1 expression in Williams soybean. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, 22: 1445-1554
16. Crespo-Rivas JC, Margaret I, Hidalgo A, Buendía-Clavería AM, Ollero FJ, López-Baena FJ, del Socorro Murdoch P, Rodríguez-Carvajal MA, Soria-Díaz ME, Reguera M, Lloret J, Sumpton DP, Mosely JA, Thomas-Oates JE, van Brussel AA, Gil-Serrano A, Vinardell JM, Ruiz-Sainz JE. 2009. Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 cgs mutants are unable to nodulate determinate- and indeterminate nodule-forming legumes and overproduce an altered EPS. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, 22: 575-588
17. López-Baena FJ, Vinardell JM, Pérez-Montaño F, Crespo-Rivas JC, Bellogín RA, Espuny MR, Ollero FJ. 2008. Regulation and symbiotic significance of nodulation outer proteins secretion in Sinorhizobium fredii HH103. Microbiology-SGM, 154: 1825-1836
18. Crespo-Rivas JC, Margaret I, Pérez-Montaño F, López-Baena FJ, Vinardell JM, Ollero FJ, Moreno FJ, Ruiz-Sainz JE, Buendía-Clavería AM. 2007. A pyrF auxotrophic mutant of Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 impaired in its symbiotic interaction with soybean and other legumes. International Microbiology, 10: 169-176
19. Rodrigues J, López-Baena FJ, Ollero FJ, Vinardell JM, Espuny MR, Bellogín RA, Ruiz-Sainz JE, Thomas J, Sumpton D, Ault J, Thomas-Oates J. 2007. NopM and NopD: two new rhizobial nodulation outer proteins identified using LC-MALDI and LC-ESI with a monolithic capillary column. Journal of Proteome Research, 6: 1029-1037
20. de Lyra MCCP, López-Baena FJ, Madinabeitia N, Vinardell JM, Espuny MR, Cubo MT, Bellogín RA, Ruiz-Sainz JE, Ollero FJ. 2006. Inactivation of the Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 rhcJ gene abolishes nodulation outer proteins (Nops) secretion and decreases the symbiotic capacity with soybean. International Microbiology, 9: 125-133
21. Parada M, Vinardell JM, Ollero FJ, Hidalgo A, Gutiérrez R, Buendía-Clavería AM, Wang L, Margaret I, López-Baena FJ, Gil-Serrano A, Rodríguez-Carvajal MA, Moreno J, Ruiz-Sainz JE. 2005. Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 mutants affected in capsular polysaccharide (KPS) are impaired for nodulation with soybean and Cajanus cajan. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, 19: 43-52
22. Vinardell JM, Ollero FJ, Hidalgo A, López-Baena FJ, Medina C, Vangelov KI, Parada M, Madinabeitia N, Espuny MR, Bellogín RA, Camacho M, Rodríguez-Navarro DN, Soria-Díaz ME, Gil-Serrano A, Ruiz-Sainz JE. 2004. NolR regulates diverse symbiotic signals of Sinorhizobium fredii HH103. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, 17: 676-685
23. Vinardell JM, López-Baena FJ, Hidalgo A, Ollero FJ, Bellogín RA, Espuny MR, Temprano F, Romero F, Krishnan HB, Pueppke SG, Ruiz-Sainz JE. 2004. The effect of FITA mutations on the symbiotic properties of Sinorhizobium fredii varies in a chromosomal-background dependent manner. Archives of Microbiology, 181: 144-154
24. Thomas-Oates J, Bereszczak J, Edwars E, Gill A, Noreen S, Zhou JC, Chen MZ, Miao LH, Xie FL, Yang J, Zhou Q, Yang SS, Li XH, Wang L, Spaink HP, Schlaman HRM, Harteveld M, Diaz CL, van Brussel AAN, Camacho M, Rodríguez-Navarro DN, Santamaría C, Temprano F, Acebes JM, Bellogín RA, Buendía-Clavería AM, Cubo MT, Espuny MR, Gil A, Gutiérrez R, Hidalgo A, López-Baena FJ, Madinabeitia N, Medina C, Ollero FJ, Vinardell JM, Ruiz-Sainz JE. 2003.A catalogue of molecular, physiological and symbiotic properties of soybean-nodulating strains from different soybean cropping areas of China. Systematic and Applied Microbiology, 26: 453-465