For a project that was granted by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, admission is open for a postdoctorate position (doc Post) in the laboratory of Tamar Azoulay-Shemer, Fruit tree science department, Newe Ya'ar Research Center, Volcani (ARO).
Research topic: The effect of the unique photosynthetic stem trait of the wild almond species, P.arabica, as an alternative carbon fixation tissue, on almond physiology.
Deciduous fruit trees, as almond require sufficient cold dose for normal bud differentiation. With climate change, one of the main issues is global warming, which result in reduced crop yield. In a preliminary study we revealed a unique trait of stem-photosynthesis in the wild P.arabica almond, which assimilate CO2, in high rates, during the whole year, including during the wintertime when the almond tree is leafless. This distinctive feature provides the almond tree with an additional energetic source of carbon to combat its harsh growing environment.
As part of preliminary research, we have established breeding populations of almonds in Neve Ya'ar, with the aim to study the trait and breed it into commercial almond varieties. Based on our results we hypothesize that stem-photosynthesis may contribute to the total carbon gain of the plant, and that this energy will be exploit by the tree for reproduction and increase in crop yield.
In this study our aim is to: I) study the relative contribution of stem-photosynthesis to almond growth and yield. II) develop genetic tools for screening and identifying the genes responsible for stem-photosynthesis. This strategy, which combines physiological and genetical research, will enable breeding for new cultivars with physiological advantages for our future world.
• Brukental H, Doron-Faigenboim A, Bar-Ya'akov I, Harel-Beja R, Attia Z, Azoulay-Shemer T, Holland D. (2021). Revealing the Genetic Components Responsible for the Unique Photosynthetic Stem Capability of the Wild Almond Prunus arabica (Olivier) Meikle. Frontiers in Plant Science. 12: 779970.
• Trainin, T., Brukental, H., Shapira, O., Attia, Z., Tiwari, V., Hatib, K., Gal, S., Zemach, H., Belausov, E., Charuvi, D., Holland, D., and Azoulay-Shemer, T. (2022). Physiological characterization of the wild almond Prunus arabica stem photosynthetic capability. Frontiers in Plant Science. 13: 941504.
Dr. Tamar Azoulay-Shemer
Lab Website: https://www.azoulayshemerlab.com