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Molecular and Genetic Dissection of Plant Defense Reactions ביוטכנולוגיה לעמידות יתר בצמחים. Dr. Adi Avni דרר' עדי אבני . Britannia, Room 6 28 , Tel: 03- 6409840; E-mail: [email protected]

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Molecular and Genetic Dissection of

Plant Defense Reactions

ביוטכנולוגיה לעמידות יתר בצמחים

Dr. Adi Avniדרר' עדי אבני

Britannia, Room 628, Tel: 03- 6409840; E-mail: [email protected]

Plant resistance against disease involves inducible defense mechanisms. One aspect of the plant defense response is the induction of programmed cell death known as hypersensitive response (HR). Our research focuses on understanding the signal transduction pathway by which a fungal protein elicitor induces ethylene biosynthesis, programmed cell death and other plant defense responses. We address this question from several angles: We use genetic approach to isolate the plant gene controlling the plant response to the fungal protein by positional cloning (map based cloning) and microarray (chip technology). The biological function of the isolated genes is been analyzed in transgenic plants. Promoter deletion analysis performed in tomato allowed us to identify the proximal region essential for induction of ethylene biosynthesis by the fungal protein. Using this cis element, we isolated a tomato cysteine protease-like protein that binds to the promoter and, in a transient expression assay, activates the gene. Currently we are studing the role of this cysteine protase and the small ubiquitin-related modifier protein (T-SUMO) of tomato in controlling ethylene biosynthesis. Programmed cell death plays an essential role in plant defense responses. We are studying the mechanism of programmed cell death using a proteomics approach. Our long-term goals are to generate plants that show high resistance to pathogens using biotechnological tools.

Research Associate

Silvi Shuster

Graduate Students

Mily Ron

Yael Gross

Recent publications:Ron M., et al. A. High-resolution linkage analysis and physical characterization of the EIX-responding locus in tomato. Theor. Appl. Genet. 100, 2000 (pp. 184-189). Elbaz M, et al. Constitutive caspase-like machinery executes programmed cell death in plant cells Cell Death Diff 9, 2002 (pp. 726-733)