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Institute of Plant Science - Central ARO Campus, Rishon Leziyon

Fruit Tree Sciences

  1. COHEN YUVAL e-mail Team:Dr. Amir Sherman
    Phenotypic and genetic characterization of fruit quality traits in mango.
    Mango breeding requires better understanding of the heredity of fruit quality traits. Peel color and fibrousness are two of most important major traits. Currently there are no markers associated with these two traits, to enable their identification at the seedling stage. While there is some knowledge on processes determining fruit peel coloration, very little is known on the formation of fibers in the mango pulp. We will combine microscopic analysis, molecular biology techniques and biochemistry to characterize these two traits as well as additional ones. We will perform genetic analyses, screening defined mango populations and germline collections to characterize the inheritance of the traits and to identify specific markers associated with them.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D. in horticulture, Plant Molecular biology or in Plant biochemistry
    Scientific experience
    Knowledge in plant developmental biology, or fruit development; Experience in various molecular biology techniques and in microscopy. Basic bioinformatics tools.
    Skills
    Molecular biology techniques, basic bioinformatics tools and experience in histology/microscopy techniques.
  2. AVI SADKA e-mail Team:Idit Ginzberg, Tarin Paz-Kagan, Itamar Lansky (Bar-Ilan University)
    Understanding the basis of fruit splitting in citrus
    Peel splitting is one of major disorders in citrus, and it might result in a heavy yield loss. The problem has probably a genetic background, but it is also affected by external conditions. The aim of the research is to identify both endogenous and exogenous factors which play a role in generating the disorder. The research would combine molecular, physiological and biochemical work. More specially, we would like to understand peel anatomy and transcriptome of prone-to-split cultivars.
    Education requirements
    PhD in biology\Ag Sciences
    Scientific experience
    Expertise in molecular biology, and physiological work. Alternatively, experience in data mining and analysis.
    Skills
    In addition to lab work, willingness to spend time in the field
  3. AVI SADKA e-mail Team:Amir Sherman
    Manipulation of genes associated with citrus fruit acidity
    Fruit acidity in citrus is determined by the citrate content at maturity. Acid level often provides a problem for fruit taste quality. In some cultivars, acid is too high, while in others, mostly mandarins, acid level declines faster than desired. Citrate metabolism is a complex process, involving its biosynthesis, catabolism and transport across membranes. In a previews research, we have identified genes possibly associated with acid decline. The current research is aimed at manipulating the expression of these genes using transient expression assay.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D in plant scineces
    Scientific experience
    good background in molecular biology techniques, preferably, experience in transient transformation
    Skills
    good physiological understanding
  4. OR ETTI e-mail Team:Etti Or, Tamar Basha
    Integration of low-energy stimuli with hormone -mediated regulation of growth: retrieving the core regulators that trigger transition of the grapevine bud meristem from dormancy to growth
    Our study suggest that stimuli of dormancy release lead to a respiratory stress. This stress lead to growth repression removal by ABA down regulation and Ethylene up regulation, which activates catabolism. Such catabolic step appears to be the necessary switch for sugar regulated changes in the behavior of the SNARK-TOR regulon, a central regulon of plant homeostasis. This innovative model which is supported by our preliminary results, will be tested using omics, transgenics and standard nucleic acud and protein level analyses. The innovation level is high and have the potential to lead to publication in high profile journals. for further back ground see Zheng et al., JXB 2015, 2018 and Zheng et al., PCE 2018.
    Education requirements
    PhD thesis in the field of plant molecular biology
    Scientific experience
    research experience in molecular physiology of plants
    Skills
    reach experience with molecular tools such as RTPCR, Western analyses, cloning, transient expression experience in tissue culture is an advantage Proper English writing abilities good English writing abilities
  5. FLAISHMAN MOSHE e-mail Team:Dr. Moshe Flaishman
    Genome editing for precise breeding of fruit trees
    To develop new breeding tools in fruit trees that are based on targeted gene knockout using Crispr-CAS9 methodology. Our specific objectives are: a. To develop system for rapid assessment of the effect of gene knockout on flower and fruit –related traits. b. To develop system of transgenic free genome edited fruit trees
    Education requirements
    PhD. student graduated in Plant molecular biology Sciences
    Scientific experience
    Plant tissue culture, transgenic technology and plant transformation. Plant molecular biology techniques:RNA extraction, PCR & qRT-PCR, plasmid cloning and Bioinformatics analysis
    Skills
    English writing and speaking capabilities
  6. OPHIR RON e-mail Team:Dr. Etti Or
    Gene expression network by partial clusterin
    A prerequisite to clustering noisy data, such as gene-expression data, is the filtering step. As an alternative to this step, the ctsGE R-package applies a sorting step in which all of the data are divided into small groups. The groups are divided according to how the time points are related to the time-series median. Then clustering is performed separately on each group. Thus, the clustering is done in two steps. First, an expression index (i.e., a sequence of 1, -1, and 0) is defined and genes with the same index are grouped together, and then each group of genes is clustered by k-means to create subgroups. This method ia applicable for small number of conditions (approximately up to 8 conditions). As the number of conditions increase more index groups contain a siletones. We aim to develope a new method base on partial clustering.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D. in Bioinformatics
    Scientific experience
    Using R for gene expression data analysis First author in publications that describe developing algorithm for gene expression
    Skills
    An expert in R - knoledge in package developing Knowledge in clustering and networks Application of networks in gene expression
  7. BEN-ARI GIORA e-mail Team:Zohar Kerem, Faculty of Agriculture.
    Effect of heat stress on olive fruit size and oil accumulation and quality
    A previous study showed a major and genotypic dependent effect of heat stress, during fruit development, on olive fruit weight and oil accumulation as well as on olive oil quality. We also identified various genes involved in heat stress tolerance in olives. We would now like to study the critical period in which heat stress has the major effect on all the mentioned above parameters. A postdoc position is now open to work on this project which includes physiological, histological and molecular analyses.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D. is required
    Scientific experience
    Plant sciences
    Skills
    Previous experience in molecular biology including RNA extraction and RT-PCR analysis is required.
  8. BINYAN MENAHEL e-mail Team:Zohar Kerem, Faculty of Agriculture.
    Effect of heat stress on olive fruit size and oil accumulation and quality
    A previous study showed a major and genotypic dependent effect of heat stress, during fruit development, on olive fruit weight and oil accumulation as well as on olive oil quality. We also identified various genes involved in heat stress tolerance in olives. We would now like to study the critical period in which heat stress has the major effect on all the mentioned above parameters. A postdoc position is now open to work on this project which includes physiological, histological and molecular analyses.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D. is required
    Scientific experience
    Plant sciences
    Skills
    Previous experience in molecular biology including RNA extraction and RT-PCR analysis is required.

Natural Resources

  1. SADEH ASAF e-mail Team:Dr. Mwafaq Ibdah, the Novel Plant Metabolites Research Lab, Newe Ya'ar, Volcani Center Prof. Moshe Coll, Dep. of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Ecological metabolomics and secondary metabolite induction in vegetable crops, with emphasis on health-promoting compounds
    The Agroecology lab, is collaborating with the Novel Plant Metabolites Research Lab to study environmental induction of secondary metabolites in vegetable crops, with emphasis on (but not limited to) health-promoting compounds and potentially plant-protection implications. The project will involve a combination of wide-scope metabolic profiling and analysis, identification of biochemical induction mechanisms and localization, and determination of function and potential agricultural and ecological implications.
    Education requirements
    Phd in Plant Sciences / Analytical Chemistry / Plant Metabolomics
    Scientific experience
    Liquid and Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry Plant Molecular Biology and Physiology Plant-Pest Interactions A good publication record
    Skills
    Fluent English (spoken, reading, scientific writing)
  2. SADEH ASAF e-mail Team:Dr. Yael Mandelik, Dep. of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Prof. Nor Chejanovsky, Dep. of Entomology, Plant Protection Institute, Volcani Center Prof. Michelle Flenniken, Montana State University
    Spillover, spread and ecological implications of infectious diseases in managed and wild pollinator communities
    The goal of this interdisciplinary, collaborative project is understanding and predicting the spread of viral pathogens in natural and managed bee communities, ecological and anthropogenic factors influencing this spread, and its implication for pollination ecosystem services and conservation. The project combines field surveys, virus discovery and quantification, infection and behavioral experiments, and theoretical computational modeling. We seek an excellent, highly-motivated postdoc researcher to lead an independent research that would expand our project in any relevant way, such as (but not limited to): bee nutrition, the bee microbiome, pesticide exposure, factors affecting the bee immune function, novel pathogens, floral traits and pathogen transmission, etc.
    Education requirements
    Phd in a relevant field such as Insect Ecology / Entomology / Virology / Microbial Ecology
    Scientific experience
    Multivariate analysis techniques Molecular virology techniques Experimental insect behavior / pathology techniques Individual-based modeling, mathematical/computational modeling Any other experience relevant to the research project A good publication record
    Skills
    Fluent English (spoken, reading, scientific writing)
  3. DAVID SCHWARTZ RAKEFET e-mail Team:Rakefet David-Schwartz, Lilach Farkash
    Functional characterisation of pine drought-related genes
    Forest trees have evolved to alter their transcriptome in order to cope with the imposed stress. In our lab we began to uncover the complexity of the molecular response of pine trees to drought. Many of significantly expressed genes are of unknown function, when many of them have no homologs in angiosperms. We would like to study their function by reverse genetics using Arabidopsis as a heterologous system.
    Education requirements
    PhD in plant sciences
    Scientific experience
    Experience in plant molecular biology, plant transformation, phenotyping and genotyping.
    Skills
    Ability to establish effective working relationships. Skilled in technical proficiency, scientific creativity, collaboration with others and independent thought.
  4. ZAADY ELIYAHU e-mail Team:Eli Zaady, The Laboratory of Open Spaces and Agro-ecology
    Agro-ecological aspects of soil wind erosion, aeolian geomorphology and desertification.
    The study aimed to investigate the effects of wind erosion from farm and pasture lands one the nutrient cyclings, particle distribution and aeolian morphology and chemistry in dry-land of the northern Negev Desert.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D. in Life Sciences or Geography
    Scientific experience
    Background in researches of earth surface processes and systems ecology.
    Skills
    Strong background in field research, wind tunnel experiments, statistic softwares, skilles in English speaking and writing, microsoft softwares, excelent team worker and cooperative with other students, team leader,

Ornamental Plants and Agricultural Biotechnology

  1. SADOT EINAT e-mail Team:Potential collaborator: Prof . V. Dolja Oregon State University, Corvallis.
    The role of myosin XI in cell division and differentiation
    Recently we found that a triple mutant of myosin XIK, XI1 and XI2 makes more lateral and adventitious roots. In addition, myosin XIK was found in the cell division apparatus. A comprehensive yeast two hybrid screen raised possible interesting new interactors. The verification of the latter is the subject of the project.
    Education requirements
    PhD in plant sciences
    Scientific experience
    Molecular biology techniques such as cloning, transformation to Arabidopsis, transient expression in N. benthamiana, genotyping of mutants, cross breeding, real time PCR etc.
    Skills
    Scientific curiosity, enthusiasm, hard working, good hands
  2. SHAMIR MICHAL e-mail Team:Prof. Michal Oren-Shamir
    Phenylpropanoid metabolism in plants
    The research in our lab is focused on phnylpropanoid metabolism in plants. We are interested in several metabolic pathways originating from phenylalanine and the cross talk between these pathways. One of the topics of interest is the process by which anthocyanins are metabolized in plants, including their active degradation. Additional related topics are the production of fragrant benzenoids from phenylalanine as well as production of antimicrobial compounds causing increased plant resistance to pathogens.
    Education requirements
    PhD in plant sciences
    Scientific experience
    I am in search for a postdoc with expertise in plant molecular biology and metabolomics of plant secondary metabolites, preferably belonging to the phenylpropanoid family.
    Skills
    Molecular biology and metabolomic analysis.
  3. YEDIDIA IRIS e-mail Team:Hanoch Senderowitz Bar Ilan
    Inhibition of virulence and biofilm formation in Pectobacterium carotovorum by plant derived small molecules
    Pectobacterium carotovorum is the causal agent of soft rot disease in potato and Ornamental plants. We had recently shown that several plant phenolics may interfere with the virulence of the bacterium via inhibition of the quorum sensing machinary. The present project will focus on computational screening for potential inhibitors and testing of these compounds in a bacterial plant system. We will also look for plant derived antibiotic potentiators that may enhance the activity of QS inhibitors. The study will include molecular biology techniques and computational chemistry tools.
    Education requirements
    PhD from a recognized university
    Scientific experience
    plant molecular biology; basic and molecular tools in microbiology; biochemistry; basic bioinformatic tools
    Skills
    excellent writing skills
  4. KOLTAI HINANIT e-mail Team:Dr.Hinanit Koltai
    Research in medicinal plants for identification of new compounds with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity
    Examination of anti-cancer and anti- inflammatory activities of compounds extracted from medicinal plants on different cell cultures and tissues. Different extraction methods will be examined and active extracts will be taken for further chemical analysis- separation and identification of active fractions of these extracts.
    Education requirements
    PhD in chemistry, biochemistry or life- sciences fields
    Scientific experience
    Tissue culture, Viability assays, ELISA, FACS, Immunostaining of tissues and cell lines. Different methods of Molecular biology, chemical analysis- HPLC, extraction methods
    Skills
    Sterile work, quick learning, team work, data analysis of experiments.
  5. BOCOBZA SAMUEL e-mail Team:Dr. Samuel Bocobza, Dana Ayzenshtat
    Genome editing and targeted metabolic engineering of Stevia plants for the large scale production of rare and valuable natural sweeteners
    The increasing prevalence of metabolic disorders has prompted the development of alternative Abstract sweeteners. Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) is a perennial shrub that accumulates large amount of steviosides for its defense. These molecules, which were recently granted GRAS by the FDA, are antibacterial and can be as much as 300 times sweeter than sucrose. However, the most abundant steviosides naturally present in stevia plants have a bitter aftertaste, while the sweetest steviosides are present in minute amount. Therefore, this study will take advantage of the most advance genome editing technology to generate novel stevia cultivars that merely accumulate these otherwise rare steviosides.
    Education requirements
    PhD in plant molecular biology
    Scientific experience
    functional genomics, metabolomics (HPLC, LCMS, GCMS...), regulation of gene expression
    Skills
    candidates should have high motivation to learn and develop the most recent tools in: - molecular cloning - molecular biology - metabolomics

Vegetable and Field Crops

  1. GINZBERG IDIT e-mail Team:Idit Ginzberg
    Strengthening fruit peel resistance to growth strains
    Cracking of fruit peel, and the closely-related russeting condition, are major disorders that limit fruit quality, shelf-life and marketability, and result from a failure of the peel to resist surface tensions due to fruit expansion. Simply, the peel is made of epidermal cells and the overlying cuticular matrix, with the occurrence of fruit cracking first visible at the cuticle surface. Spraying of gibberellin A4 plus A7 (GA4+7) and the cytokinin 6-benzyl adenine (BA) at the early cell division stage in apple fruit development resulted in a reduced incidence of cracking, and this was accompanied by increased cuticle thickness and higher epidermal cell density, phenotypes often presumed to confer cracking resistance. The proposed research aims to elucidate the cellular factors that determine fruit peel resistance to cracking using anatomical studies and molecular approaches (transcriptome analysis, qPCR, etc.)
    Education requirements
    PhD studies
    Scientific experience
    Actual practice in molecular biology for at least two years. Knowledge in bioinformatic applications is desirable. Publications in international reviewed journals.
    Skills
    Fluent English speaker, well updated in scientific literature, good collaboration with other lab members, diligent, trustworthy, meticulous
  2. FRIEDMAN EYAL e-mail Team:Amir Sherman [ARO], Noam Shental [OU], Asaph Aharoni [WIS]
    Genetic dissection of clock plasticity and heat resilience in barley by genome editing
    Some barley cultivars grown at hot climate can suffer from reduced yield and preliminary results show that acceleration of circadian clock could provide resilience. We are utilizing one identified QTL for clock plasticity and perform GWAS for additional loci to facilitate breeding of heat resilience. This is conducted with a new phenomics platform developed in lab. In addition, we develop genome editing tools to direct recombination and mapping in these loci
    Education requirements
    PhD in English Speaking University
    Scientific experience
    Experience in molecular biology with preference for analysis of QTL mapping in crop plants, phenotyping and deep sequencing
    Skills
    Fluent English; Communication; Motivation for academic career
  3. GINZBERG IDIT e-mail Team:Idit Ginzberg
    Molecular characterization of potato skin as a model for studying suberization and cork formation
    The potato skin is a protective corky tissue that originates from cambial activity of phellogen cells. Characterization of the potato phellogen may contribute to management of costly agricultural problems that are related to incomplete skin-set and the resulting skinning injuries, and to gain knowledge on cork development in planta. A transcriptome of the potato phellogen was prepared from cells isolated by Laser Capture Microdissection technique. Candidate genes were identified with differential and high expression at phellogen initiation/skin formation stage or at phellogen inactivation/skin maturation stage. The proposed project is to characterize those genes in transgenic potato plants under normal and stress conditions.
    Education requirements
    PhD studies
    Scientific experience
    Actual practice in molecular biology for at least two years. Knowledge in bioinformatic applications is desirable. Publications in international reviewed journals.
    Skills
    Fluent English speaker, well updated in scientific literature, good collaboration with other lab members, diligent, trustworthy, meticulous
  4. LAPIDOT MOSHE e-mail Team:Dr. Dana Gelbart
    Molecular charecterization of a mild strain of watermelon chlorotic stunt virus (WmCSV)
    We have identified a very mild strain of WmCSV, which upon infection shows hardly any symptoms. We want to understand which viralgene(s) is responsible for this dramatic change in virus behavior, and how it interacts with the plant host.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D. in plant virology or plant biology
    Scientific experience
    Plant virology and plant molecular biology
    Skills
    Fluent English (speaking and writing) good colaboration skills with team members.
  5. HOVAV RAN e-mail Team:Ran Hovav, Shmuel Galili
    Underlying key genes for crop improvement in Virginia-type peanut
    In recent years, we have discovered several loci in the peanut genome that are responsible for key traits. Such traits include seed oil and protein content, oil quality, pod characteristics, growing habit and resistance to diseases. In this program we will take one step further to find and cloned actual genes for these traits. We will search for candidate genes by map based cloning and comparative mapping approaches. We will develop and use new transformation systems to validate these candidate genes in Virgina-type peanut (for "in-shell" industry). The study should have big impact for peanut genetics and breeding community.
    Education requirements
    Ph.D. in life sciences
    Scientific experience
    molecular genetics and breeding
    Skills
    Tissue culture in peanut or close legumes
Updated on: 01/08/18 12:19
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