Profile – José I. Jiménez-Zurdo

, , , , ,


José I. Jiménez-Zurdo

Job Title:

CSIC staff scientist


Phone Number:

+34 958181600 Ext. 176


Google Scholar Profile


I am M.Sc. (1988) and Ph.D. (1993) by the University of Salamanca (Spain). After a first postdoctoral stay (1994-1996) at Estación Experimental del Zaidín (CSIC, Granada), the European Union awarded me a Marie Curie fellowship (1997-1999) to work with Drs. Martín Crespi and Adam Kondorosi at Institut des Sciences du Végétal (CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France). I returned to Granada in August 1999 and joined the scientific staff of CSIC at Estación Experimental del Zaidín in July, 2008. My scientific activity has been always focused on the biochemistry, ecology, molecular-genetics and genomics of the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis stablished between rhizobia and legume plants, mainly from the bacterial perspective but also observed from the plant side during my postdoctoral stay at CNRS. As postdoctoral scientist, I have focused my research interests on RNA biology in this experimental system, first dealing with the molecular biology and biotechnology of rhizobial group II ribozymes, and finally establishing my own research line on RNA-mediated regulation of gene expression in nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria. The general goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms used by small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) and their associated proteins (e.g. RNA chaperones, ribonucleases) to control abiotic stress responses, nodulation and symbiotic nitrogen-fixation, as amenable rhizobial traits that ultimately impact growth of their legume partners.

Research Areas:

  • Symbiotic nitrogen-fixation
  • Rhizobial genomics
  • Non-coding transcriptome
  • RNA-binding proteins
  • Riboregulation

Current N-related Projects:


  1. Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. and Robledo, M. 2017. RNA silencing in plant symbiotic bacteria: insights from a protein-centric view. RNA Biol. 14, 1672-1677.
  2. Robledo, M., Peregrina, A., Millán, V., García-Tomsig, N., Torres-Quesada, O., Mateos, P.F., Becker, A., and Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. 2017. A conserved α-proteobacterial small RNA contributes to osmoadaptation and symbiotic efficiency of rhizobia on legume roots. Environ. Microbiol. 19, 2661-2680.
  3. Saramago, M., Peregrina, A., Robledo, M., Matos, R.G., Hilker, R., Serrania, J., Becker, A., Arraiano, C.M., and Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. 2017. Sinorhizobium meliloti YbeY is an endoribonuclease with unprecedented catalytic features, acting as silencing enzyme in riboregulation. Nucleic Acids Res. 45, 1371-139.
  4. Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. and Robledo, M. 2015. Unraveling the universe of small RNA regulators in the legume symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti. Symbiosis. 67, 43-54. (Q3; IF, 1,438)
  5. Robledo, M., Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. and Becker, A. 2015. Antisense transcription of symbiotic genes in Sinorhizobium meliloti. Symbiosis, 67, 55-67.
  6. Lafuente, A., Doukkali, B., Molina-Sánchez, M.D., Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I., Caviedes, M.A., Rodríguez-Llorente, I., and Pajuelo, E. 2015. Unraveling the effect of arsenic on the model Medicago-Sinorhizobium interaction: A transcriptomic meta-analysis. New Phytol. 205, 255-272.
  7. Torres-Quesada, O., Reinkensmeier, J., Schlüter, J.P., Robledo, M., Peregrina, A., Giegerich, R., Toro, N., Becker, A., and Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. 2014. Genome-wide profiling of Hfq-binding RNAs uncovers extensive post-transcriptional rewiring of major stress response and symbiotic regulons in Sinorhizobium meliloti. RNA Biol. 11, 563-579.
  8. Torres-Quesada, O., Millán, V., Nisa-Martínez, R., Bardou, F., Crespi, M., Toro N., and Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. 2013. Independent activity of the homologous small regulatory RNAs AbcR1 and AbcR2 in the legume symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti. PloS One 8, e68147.
  9. Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I., Valverde, C., and Becker, A. 2013. Insights into the noncoding RNome of nitrogen-fixing endosymbiotic α-proteobacteria. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 26, 160-167.
  10. del Val, C., Romero-Zaliz, R., Torres-Quesada, O., Peregrina, A., Toro, N., and Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. 2012. A survey of sRNA families in α-proteobacteria. RNA Biol. 9, 119-129.
  11. Robledo, M., Rivera, L.P., Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I., Rivas, R., Dazzo, F.B., Velázquez, E., Martínez-Molina, E., Hirsch, A.M., and Mateos P.F. 2012. Role of Rhizobium endoglucanase CelC2 in cellulose biosynthesis and biofilm formation on plant roots and abiotic surfaces. Microbial Cell Fact. 11, 125.
  12. Robledo, M., Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I., Soto, M.J., Velázquez, E., Dazzo, F.D., Martínez-Molina, E., and Mateos, P.F. 2011. Development of functional symbiotic white clover root hairs and nodules requires tightly regulated production of rhizobial cellulase CelC2. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 24, 798-807.
  13. Torres-Quesada, O., Oruezabal, R.I., Peregrina, A., Jofré, E., Lloret, J., Rivilla, R., Toro, N., and Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. 2010. The Sinorhizobium meliloti RNA chaperone Hfq influences central carbon metabolism and the symbiotic interaction with alfalfa. BMC Microbiol. 10, 72.
  14. Robledo, M., Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I., Velázquez, E., Trujillo, M.E., Zurdo-Piñeiro, J.L., Ramírez-Bahena, M.H., Ramos, B., Díaz-Mínguez, J.M., Dazzo, F., Martínez-Molina, E. and Mateos, P.F. 2008. Rhizobial cellulase CelC2 is essential for primary symbiotic infection of legume host roots. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105, 7064-7069.
  15. del Val, C., Rivas, E, Torres-Quesada, O., Toro, N., and Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I. 2007. Identification of differentially expressed small non-coding RNAs in the legume endosymbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti by comparative genomics. Mol. Microbiol. 66, 1080-1091.
  16. Nisa-Martínez, R., Jiménez-Zurdo, J.I., Martínez-Abarca, F., Muñoz-Adelantado, E., and Toro, N. 2007. Dispersion of the RmInt1 group II intron in the Sinorhizobium meliloti genome upon acquisition by conjugative transfer. Nucleic Acids Res. 35, 214-222.