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Institute of Plant Protection - Central ARO Campus, Rishon Leziyon

Entomology and the Nematology and Chemistry units

  1. ZADA ANAT e-mail Team:Dr Anat Zada and Dr Roy Kaspi
    Pheromone identification of a mealybug pest
    We are going to identify a sex pheromone of a mealybug causing damages to fruit orchards in Israel and other countries. The person whom we are looking for should be an organic chemist with skills and knowledge in using MS and NMR for the identification of different natural products.
    Education requirements
    BSc in Chemistry + MSc and PhD in Organic chemistry
    Scientific experience
    Proved analitycal experience with GCMS and NMR, proved experience in organic synthesis
    Skills
    speaking, reading and reporting in English; using office computer programs (excel, powerpoint, word), using analytical equipment softwares, good skills in handiwork, social and willing to work and learn about insect. pheromones,
  2. MENT DANA e-mail Team:Dana Ment, Guy Mechrez
    Increasing UV and heat tolerance in entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes by novel formulation
    The project focus on entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes, and its use as biopesticide. Visioning the hidden potential to increase the survival of these agents in the environment and introduce it to the pest population in novel strategies we will aim at designing novel platforms of formulation. We will use material science tools and live imaging, genetics and biochemical methods of both fungus and nematodes to increase survival under natural conditions. The information that will be gained will be used to design novel application strategies.
    Education requirements
    Doctor of philosophy
    Scientific experience
    Microbiology specifically of fungal isolation, identification and maintenance, genetics including gene expression (metagenomics, qPCR), genetic manipulations, entomology, plant bioassays
    Skills
    Sociable, hard-working, credible and curious
  3. GANAIM MURAD e-mail Team:Svetlana Kontsedalov, Galina Lebedev
    Exploring the molecular interactions between psyllids and bacteria of the genus Liberibacter
    Liberibacter is a genus of bacteria that have emerged during the last 10-15 years as one of the most threatening pathogens to many agricultural crops. Those bacteria are transmitted by psyllids. One of the promising approaches to prevent the damage of this group of pathogens is by studying molecular interactions with their vectors for identifying vector proteins that participate in the transmission process which can be used to interfere with the transmission.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D in agriculture of relevant biological sciences
    Scientific experience
    Entomology, Molecular Biology, Plant Sciences
    Skills
    scientific writing and reading in English, independence, ability to work with a group
  4. HARARI ALLY e-mail Team:Hadass Steinitz, Rachel Ben Shlomo, Yael Lubin
    Inbreeding and outbreeding decisions and their consequences in a social beetle
    we use the haplo-diploid, inbreeding social bark beetle to investigate decisions relating to inbreeding and outbreeding. We monitor natural populations to assess genetic variation and inbreeding coefficients, beetle fitness, mating choice, brood care behaviour and secondary endosymbiont abundance. We rear the beetles in the lab testing the effects of extreme inbreeding on genetic load and mate choice.
    Education requirements
    PhD in life sciences, understanding entomology, evolution and ecology
    Scientific experience
    Writing papers, mastering Office tools, using binocular
    Skills
    Writing reports, using statistical tools, curiosity
  5. HARARI ALLY e-mail Team:Victoria Soroker
    Evolution of resistance to mating disruption in moth pests – Evidence and Possible Mechanism
    The mating disruption technique against moth pests has been applied in many orchards and field crops all over the world including Israel. Lately evidence has accumulated regarding the role of resistance to mating disruption in population outbreaks of the pests. Behavioral changes of males suggest the possible shift in the female sex pheromone or in the male response to the female pheromone. Our long-term goal is to help maintain the longevity of the environmentally friendly mating disruption technique in controlling moth pests via the understanding of the resistance mechanisms and applying protocols on the field aimed at reducing the possibility resistance developing.
    Education requirements
    PhD in life sciences, entomologist, evolution and sexual selection
    Scientific experience
    Field study, chemistry, behavior.
    Skills
    fluent English reading, writing and speaking. Mastering Office tools. Statistical tools.
  6. HARARI ALLY e-mail Team:Hadass Steinitz
    Evolution of polyandry and monandry in butterflies
    Polygynous, multiple mating males, benefit from increasing their reproductive success, whereas the benefit to remating females is not always clear, as most often they can store enough sperm from one male to fertilize all their available ova.If the female re-mates a conflict between the sexes over optimal number of matings may evolve. We test the cost and benefit of remating vs once mating for females, its effect on male's ejaculates and sperm competition.
    Education requirements
    PhD in life sciences. Evolution, ecology and sexual selection
    Scientific experience
    Filed studies, molecular tools, entomology.
    Skills
    Fluent English speaking, reading and writing. Mastering Office tools, using statistical tools.
  7. SOROKER VICTORIA e-mail Team:Prof. Ada Rafaeli
    The mechanism of chemosensing in honey bee parasite, the mite Varroa destructor
    Olfaction, as well as gustation are essential for animal survival, allowing behavioral modulation according to environmental input thus optimizing detection of food, mates, and enemy-avoidance via volatile and contact chemicals. We focus on the obligatory parasite and the major pest of the Western honey bee, Varroa destructor, as a model organism. In particularly in this project is aiming to elucidate the buiding blocks of its chemosensing mashinery via comparing the two chemosensory systems in terms of gene expression and th effects on host selection behavior.
    Education requirements
    PHD in entomology/physiology
    Scientific experience
    Knowledge of mechanisms of signal trunsduction
    Skills
    Basic techniques in molecular biology (RNA and DNA isolation/qPCR/ protein isolation/ electrophoresis) , microdosections and behavior observations (especially in arthropods)

Plant Pathology and Weed Research Department

  1. BLANK LIOR e-mail Team:Dr. Lior Blank
    Data driven approach for pest and disease management
    Many factors and interactions influence the development of pests and pathogens in space and over time. We are using big-data concepts and tools to study distribution of pests and pathogens. In this project we will use data collected by scouts in dozens of plots and using computational tool and statistics. Overall we aim at understanding the variables affecting the distribution and spatial dynamics of pest and pathogens.
    Education requirements
    PhD in Plant Epidemiology or PhD in Data Science & Big Data
    Scientific experience
    We are looking for highly motivated postdoc with proven knowledge in programing and working with intensive databases. Background in agriculture and specifically in epidemiology is an advantage but not a must.
    Skills
    Demonstrated proficiency with computer coding (R/Matlab/Python/C++/etc), experience with multivariate and spatial statistics, working with large datasets and GIS is highly desirable. Strong English oral and written communication skills.
  2. FREEMAN STANLEY e-mail Team:Marcel Maymon
    Use of fungal endophytes for increasing cucurbit plant performance by conferring abiotic and biotic stress tolerance
    The research will focus on endophtyic microorganisms isolated from stress-tolerant local, wild cucurbits. Cultured melon plants will be colonized with these eddophytes. Subsequently, the plants will be screened for tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. The endohytes will allow the plants to cope with extreme environmental conditions and manage soilborne fungal pathogens affecting the crop. The mechanism of host resistance will be determined and gene expression studies will be conducted in this respect.
    Education requirements
    PhD required, preferably with a sound track record of post-doctoral experience including relevant publications
    Scientific experience
    Methods related to fungal identification, morphology and molecular methods; general molecular biology techniques such as gene cloning, gene sequencing, gene expression, qRT-PCR etc…
    Skills
    Hands-on experience with molecular identification and characterization of fungi. Published experience proving the ability to submit sequences to GenBank and compare, identify and analyze results. Publications on the above required.
  3. BAHAR OFIR e-mail Team:Dr. Ofir Bahar
    Studying the role bacterial outer membrane vesicles play in plant-pathogen interactions
    Extracellular vesicles are produced by most living organisms and are gaining increased attention among scientists. Gram-negative bacteria release extracellular vesicles, originating from the outer membrane, which are called outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). Our lab was the first to recognize that bacterial OMVs interact with the plant immune system and induce PAMP-trigerred immunity. In the following project we aim to investigate the role OMVs play during plant colonization and to further investigate OMVs interaction with the plant immune system. Additionally, based on our previous studies, we are investigating possible biotechnological applications of nano-vesicle in agriculture.
    Education requirements
    PhD in Plant sciences/microbiology/plant pathology
    Scientific experience
    Molecular microbiology, plant sciences, plant immunity
    Skills
    microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbial and plant genetics
  4. SPIEGELMAN ZIV e-mail Team:Dr. Ziv Spiegelman; Dr. Hagit Hak;
    Studying the interaction between plant viral infection and abiotic factors
    Plant viruses are obligatory parasites which exploit the plant cellular machinery to facilitate their infection. In some viruses, disease severity depends on specific environmental conditions. We will examine the effects of abiotic factors on Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV), a virus whose infection is strongly sensitive to environmental conditions. Research will combine methods in plant physiology, cell biology and genetic analysis. Identifying the factors that determine viral infection under different environmental conditions will pave the way for new strategies in the development of plant resistance.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D in plant science or plant pathology
    Scientific experience
    Experienced in plant molecular biology, plant physiology, microscopy (confocal microscopy - an advantage).
    Skills
    Highly motivated, organized, good written and oral communication skills, familiar with current literature in the field, sociable.
  5. SPIEGELMAN ZIV e-mail Team:Dr. Ziv Spiegelman; Dr. Hagit Hak
    Development of new viral resistance strategies by targeting the viral movement protein
    Successful viral infection depends on a viral movement protein, which forms a complex with multiple host factors to enable the virus to move from cell to cell. In several cases, viral movement proteins are identified by plant defense mechanisms to trigger resistance against the virus. This research will explore different aspects of movement protein interactions with plant endogenous factors to develop new strategies for viral resistance. Research will involve methods in molecular biology, PCR-based mutagenesis and protein-protein interactions.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D in plant science or plant pathology
    Scientific experience
    Experienced in plant molecular biology, biochemistry (protein-protein interactions - an advantage).
    Skills
    Highly motivated, organized, good written and oral communication skills, familiar with current literature in the field, sociable.
Updated on: 30/07/18 15:01
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