Researcher in the Phytopathology and Weed Research Dept
My general scientific interests are centered on the parasitic plant broomrape, with emphasis on its metabolism and evolutionary processes, host-parasite interactions, biological control, development of broomrape-resistant crops and host crop resistance to herbicides. Using tissue culture and molecular biology we study metabolic pathways of this parasitic plant, focusing on amino acids biosynthesis and nitrogen assimilation as potential targets for future herbicides. The group produced mutagenized populations of tomato, chickpea, sunflower, sorghum, peanuts, cotton and others. As a result, a number of broomrape and herbicide resistant lines were obtained and the resistant mechanisms were revealed. Additional part of my research is focused on the novel group of plant hormones strigolactones, which are essential for broomrape seed germination. We study their role in broomrape evolution, plant development, and plant – pathogen interactions in the rhizosphere.