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שלח באימייל הדפס
Plant Sciences
Animal Science
Plant Protection
Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences
Postharvest and Food Sciences
Agricultural Engineering
Gilat Center
Newe Ya'ar
Entomology and the Nematology and Chemistry units
Plant Pathology and Weed Research
Plant Pathology and Weed Research
Head: Munir Mawassi, Ph.D.
Research in the Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Research focuses on fungal, bacterial, viral pathogens and noxious weeds causing damage to agricultural crops in Israel and abroad.


Vision of the Department:

To lead research and technology development in managing biotic crop damage while maintaining the values of sustainable agriculture and quality production.

Main objective of the Department:

Develop knowledge and technology for disease control and to maintain quality of agricultural produce while minimizing environmental damage.

Goals of the Department:

1. Study the relationships between the environment and pathogens and weeds affecting agricultural crops.
2. Identifying and describing the pathological and weed problems limiting agricultural production.
3. Development of efficient, environmentally-friendly methods for solving pathological and noxious weed problems limiting agricultural production.
4. Distribution of knowledge and techniques developed for the benefit of growers and industry in Israel and abroad.
5. Development of practical applications in plant pathology and weed science.
6. Development of the next generation of researchers in plant pathology and weed science.

Selected trends of research in the Department:

Development of management and preventive approaches to plant diseases

• Epidemiology of disease and causal agents.
• Development and application of methods for assessing susceptibility to disease-causing agents.
• Development of plant resistance, agrotechnical methods and decision support systems for disease reduction.
• Development and assessment of biological and other non-chemical control agents.

Research on plant/pathogen interactions

• Identification and isolation of pathogenicity genes involved in disease development.
• Identification and characterization of genes involved in the plant host response to disease agents.

Noxious weed research and developing methods for minimalizing damage

• Biology and physiology.
• Biological control of weeds.
• Intelligent chemical control of weeds.
• Development of decision support systems for precision control of weeds.
• Developing parasitic-weed resistant crops.

Contact details of Head of Department:
TEL: 972-3-9683844
FAX: 972-3-9683768
Email: mawassi@agri.gov.il


(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Bahar Ofir, Ph.D. * Molecular study of plant-pathogen interaction * Plant diseases caused by fastidious bacteria * The role of bacterial outer-membrane vesicles in pathogenicity and immune activation
Blank Lior, Ph.D. Spatial distribution of plant pathogens in agricultural crops
Dombrovsky Aviv, Ph.D. Transmission of plant viruses Virus vector interactions Aphid-pathogenic viruses
Elad Yigal, Prof. Diseases of covered crops; Foliar diseases; Integrated management; Low input management, Global climate change effect on agriculture, plants and plant diseases; Mitigation and adaptation to climate change; Plant-Pathogen-Microb interactions. Special emphasis on cultural, chemical, biological and integrated control, epidemiology, physiology and parasitism; Biocontrol agents.
Ezra David, Ph.D. Fungal fruit tree diseases: Mal secco disease of citrus Alternaria brown spot and black spot disease of citrus Disease of pomegranate Alternaria in persimmon The molecular relations between pathogenic fungi and their host Biological control of fruit trees pathogens by the use of endophytic microorganisms and their secreted secondary metabolites. Biological control of diseases in fruit trees their products and seeds by Volatile Organic Compounds emitting fungi.
Freeman Stanley, Ph.D. Foliar and soilborne pathogens of vegetable and fruit crops. Biological and chemical control. Molecular biology techniques for diagnostics and studying host pathogen interactions of: Fusarium spp. of cucurbits and mango, and Colletotrichum spp. of strawberry, anemone, Limonium, avocado and almond. Epidemiology and control of mango malformation disease caused by Fusarium mangiferae. Epidemiology and control of Colletotrichum acutatum, C. gloeosporioides, Macrophomina, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Phytophthora in strawberry. Ambrosia beetle/Fusarium interaction affecting avocado Botryosphaeria affecting avocado and other fruit trees
Frenkel Omer, Ph.D. Soil borne pathogens ecology Population biology of plant pathogens Plant diseases in wild vs. agricultural pathosystems Effect of biochar amendments on the dynamics of soil-borne pathogens The epidemiology of Clavibacter michiganensis the causal agent of tomato bacterial canker in nurseries
Gaba Victor, Ph.D. Plant tissue culture and transformation for plant protection Virus-free crops (potato, sweet potato, garlic) Potato virology Sweetpotato virology Transgenic resistance to viruses Plant-Virus interactions
Gal-On Amit, Ph.D. The molecular basis of host and positive-strand RNA virus interaction; identification of plant genes associated with disease symptom development to plant virus infection. Genetic engineering of attenuated ZYMV-AG as a plant virus vector, for gene expression and epitope presentation. Development of resistance to RNA and DNA viruses, in cucurbits and tomato by transgenic approaches. Transgene siRNA as a tool for control nematode and parasite weed.
Gera Abed, Prof. Research Expertise: Molecular and biotechnological approaches for characterization and control of viral diseases of ornamental cropss. Specific areas: Production of virus-free propagation material of ornamental and cut-flower crops. Molecular epidemiology, virus detection and diagnosis, and virus-vector interactions. Virus diseases of new ornamental corps. Transformation of ornamentals for virus resistance Tospoviruses transmission. Management of phytoplasma diseases Virus ecology and epidemiology Current focus is on tospoviruses, tobamoviruses, carlaviruses and potyviruse. Crops include ornamentals, cut flowers, nursery, and vegetables.
Manulis-Sasson Shulamit, Ph.D. Studies on molecular basis of bacterial-host interactions, cloning and characterization of pathogenicity genes, development and implementation of molecular techniques for detection of major and economically important bacterial diseases: Pantoea agglomerans pv. gypsophilae, Xanthomonas campestris pv. pelargonii, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Erwinia amylovora, Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
Mawassi Munir, Ph.D. Engineering of grapevine virus-based transient expression vectors. Development of methods for detection of grapevine and citrus viruses. Molecular biology of grapevine Closteroviruses and Vitiviruses. Molecular biology of citrus tristeza virus. Etiology of grapevine rugose wood complex and leafroll diseases. Elimination of viruses from grapevine tissue by thermotherapy, meristem culture, and cryopreservation Phytoplasmal deseases in grapevines.
Shtienberg Dani, Prof. •Epidemiology of plant disease. •Crop loss assessment. •Development of decision support systems, IPM and modeling. •Host-pathogen interactions at the population level.
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Abo Moch Fauzi, M.Sc.
Bekelman Ilana
Borenstein Menahem
Dror Orit, B.Sc.
Lachman Oded
Leibman Diana, Ph.D. Genetic engineering of plant viruses virus resistance
Maymon Marcel
Meslinin Ludmila
Perlsman Mali
Rav-David Dalia
Reuven Michal, M.Sc.
Sela Noa, Ph.D. Bioinformatics, Genome-wide analysis, Next generation sequencing, functional genomics
Shulhani Ran, Mr.
Tam Yehudit
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Van Shlomo Shulamit
(Surname, First name)
Research Interests /
Job description
Antignus Yehezkel, Ph.D. Molecular and biological characterization of vegetable viruses. Virus /vector interactions. Integrated Pest Management(IPM)of plant viruses
Bar Joseph Moshe, Prof. Management and control of virus and virus like disease agents of subtropical fruit trees, with special emphasis on citrus. Certification programs, nursery propagation methods and modern cultivation practices of citrus & subtropical fruit trees . Eradication policies and practices of potentialy epidemic disease agents of fruit trees. Phytoplasma, Spiroplasma and insect vectored disease agents of citrus and subtropical fruit trees Molecular characterization and evolution of Closteroviridae and of viroid disease agents. Methods of pathogen detection and elimination. Transgenic plants (citrus) and rapid propagation technologies.
Ben-Yephet Yephet, Ph.D. Soil borne pathogens in vegetables, flowers and peanut in the following topics: 1. Chemical control of soil borne pathogens. Chemicals: metham sodium, methyl bromide, 1,3 dichloropropene (Telone=Condor) and benomyl. Pathogens: Verticillium dahliae, Sclertoinia sclerotioum, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. dianthi, Pythium spp., nematodes and mites. 2. Ecology and epidemiology. Survival of sclerotia of S. sclerotiorum, Sclerotium rolfsii and microsclerotia of V. dahliae in semi-arid climate. Fusarium wilt in carnation (F. o. dianthi): distribution of the pathogen in soil, the relationship between inoculum and disease, and effect of cultivar resistance on wilt incidence and population densities on plants and in soil. 3. Developing greenhouse and field screening methods to evaluate resistant cultivars or lines. Effect of isolate source and daylight intensity on the pathogenicity of V. dahliae in watermelon and Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. dianthi
Haas Jerry H, Ph.D. Ecology and epidemiology of soil-borne fungal pathogens and mycorrhiza.
Katan Talma, Ph.D.
Korolev Nadia, Ph.D. Fungal populations, soilborne and foliar fungi, fungal genetics, vegetative compatibility, resistance to fungicides, induced systemic resistance, Verticillium, Botrytis, Fusarium, Trichoderma
Kritzman Giora, Ph.D. Plant Pathologist & phytobacteriologist: Soil borne,seed borne and water borne pathogens.Bacterial diseases.
Loebenstein Gad, Prof. Plant Virology, Viuses of sweet potato and potatoes; rapid propagation of potatoes for preparing certified potato tuber seeds; Natural resistance mechanisms of plants to viruses; the IVR gene and transformation of plants with this gene
Raccah Benjamin, Prof. Virus-vector relationships at the biological and molecular level Transmission of plant viruses by vectors Epidemiology and control of plant viruses
Rosner Arieh, Ph.D.
Solel Zvi, Ph.D. Fungal diseases of citrus. Epidemiology, resistance and chemical control of plant diseases caused by fungi.
Spiegel Sara, Ph.D.
Tanhe Edna, Ph.D.
Zutra Dan, M.Sc.
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