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faculty member

  • Dr. Yehoram (Yori) Leshem
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Biotechnology
  • +972(0)586334648
  • [email protected]
    • Environmental stresses/Abiotic stresses
    • Vesicle trafficking (RabA small GTPases)
    • Programmed Cell Death (PCD)
    • Reproductive Biology (Double Fertilization)
  • Dr. Yori Leshem heads (since 2013) the “Plant Development and Adaptation Laboratory” at MIGAL-Galilee Research Institute, and teaches at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Tel-Hai Academic College.
    He did his bachelor degree (BSc Agr.) at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot (1997). He then moved to Ben Gurion University of the Negev where he completed his MSc in Plant physiology (2001). For his PhD, he joined the Department of Plant Sciences in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he studied under the guidance of Prof. Alex Levine, the molecular aspects of plant responses to abiotic stresses (2008). Later, as a recipient of Vaadia- BARD Postdoctoral Fellowship, he joined Prof. Sundaresan’s lab at the University of California, Davis, where he studied Plant Reproductive Developmental Genetics, focusing on the Double Fertilization process (2013). In his research he incorporates multiple experimental approaches such as advanced microscopy techniques, transcriptomics and proteomics which are combined with functional genetics and whole organism physiology.

  • The deteriorating growth conditions caused by global climate change negatively affects many plant species, including staple crops, imposing a major threat for global food production. Therefore, studying how plant responds to environmental stress is of utmost importance.

    In my lab we mainly study the ways plants cope with drought, salinity and heat stress. We are interested in the cellular aspects of these responses, in particular the involvement of the vesicular trafficking machinery in mediating stress tolerance. We have shown how manipulations of Rab7 and RabA (Rab11) small GTPases as well as other trafficking members such as VAMP7 SNAREs docking proteins, increase plant resistance to these stress-causing conditions.  We are also interested in cell death processes and how exactly autophagy mediated programmed cell death is regulated during extreme conditions of heat, salinity and drought. In addition, we study sexual reproduction processes such as stigma-pollen and pollen tube-ovule interactions. We study the ways these interactions, which are critical for proper seed set and fruit development, are affected by abiotic stress.

    The cellular responses to stress are studied through advanced microscopy techniques. In parallel, we use other experimental approaches such as transcriptomics, functional genetics and whole organism physiology. We carry out our research in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana as well as its closest relative from the Brassicaceae family - Camelina sativa. We also perform outdoor research and study other plant species such as Malus domestica (apple) and Pyrus communis (pear), which are important regional crops.

    We believe that our various findings can reveal novel tools that can contribute to increasing global food security.

    • Plant Development (MSc Biotechnology program)
    • Plant Responses to Abiotic Stresses
    • Plant Biology (for Nutritionists)
    • Advanced Seminar in Plant Biotechnology
  • 1) 1997. Leshem Ya’acov, Haramaty E, Iluz D, Malik Z, Soffer Y Roirman L and Leshem Yehoram. Effect of stress nitric oxide (NO) Interaction between chlorophyll fluorescence, galactolipid fluidity and lipoxygennase activity. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 35:573-579. [IF 4.270 : Q1 : citations- 80].

    2) 2003. Leshem Y, Nerd A and Mizrahi Y. Fruit cracking in Cereus peruvianus a new Cactus fruit. J. Hort. Sci. and BioTech 78:426-431. [IF 1.291 : Q2 : citations- 6].

    3) 2004. Mazel A, Leshem Y, Tiwari BS and Levine A. Induction of salt and osmotic stress tolerance by over expression of an intracellular vesicle trafficking protein AtRab7. Plant Physiology 134:118-128. [IF 8.340 : Q1 : citations- 323].

    4) 2006. Leshem Y, Melamed-Book N, Cagnac O, Ronen G, Nishri Y, Solomon M, Cohen G and Levine A. Suppression of Arabidopsis vesicle- SNARE expression inhibited fusion of H2O2-containing vesicles with tonoplast and increased salt tolerance. PNAS 103:18008-18013. [IF 11.205 : Q1 : citations- 224].

    5) 2007. Leshem Y and Levine A. Intracellular ROS – what does it do there ?
    Plant Signaling and Behavior, 2:155-156. [IF 2.247 : 1.218 : Q1 : citations- 6].

    6) 2007. Leshem Y, Seri L and Levine A. Induction of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase- mediated endocytosis by salt stress leads to intracellular production of reactive oxygen species and salt tolerance. The Plant Journal, 51:185-197. [IF 7.091 : Q1 : citations- 310].

    7) 2010. Leshem Y, Golani Y, Kaye Y and Levine A. Reduced expression of the v-SNAREs AtVAMP71/AtVAMP7C gene family in Arabidopsis reduces drought tolerance by suppression of abscisic acid-dependent stomatal closure. Journal of Experimental Botany, 61:2615-2622. [IF 6.992 : Q1 : citations- 74].

    8) 2011. Leshem Y, Kesar T and Shmida A. Female- biased nectar production in the protandrous, hermaphroditic shrub Salvia hierosolymitana (Lamiaceae). Australian Journal of Botany, 59:18–25. [IF 1.585 : Q2 : citations- 4].

    9) 2011. Kaye Y, Golani Y, Singer Y, Leshem Y, Cohen G, Ercetin M, Gillaspy G and Levine A. Polyphosphate 5-phosphatase7 regulates production of reactive oxygen species and salt tolerance in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 157:229-241. [IF 8.340 : Q1 : citations- 83].

    10) 2012. Leshem Y, Johnson C, Wuest S, Song X, Ngo Q, Grossniklaus U and Sundaresan V. Molecular Characterization of the glauce Mutant: a Central Cell-Specific Function Is Required for Double Fertilization in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell, 24:3264-3277. [IF 11.227 : Q1 : citations- 34].

    11) 2013. Leshem Y, Johnson C and Sundaresan V. Pollen tube entry into the synergid cell of Arabidopsis is observed at a site-distinct from the filiform apparatus. Plant Reproduction, 26:93–99. [IF 4.217: Q1 : citations- 46].

    12) 2013. Leshem Y and Levine A. Zooming into sub-organellar localization of reactive oxygen species in guard cell chloroplasts during abscisic acid and methyl-jasmonate treatments. Plant Signaling and Behavior, 8:10. e25689-1-e25689-4 (Cover page). [IF 2.247: Q1 : citations- 13].

    13) 2020. Ambastha V, Friedman Y and Leshem Y. Laterals take it better – Emerging and young lateral roots survive lethal salinity longer than the primary root in Arabidopsis. Scientific Reports, 10:3291. [IF 4.996 : Q1 : citations- 9].

    14) 2020. Ambastha V and Leshem Y. Differential cell persistence is observed in the Arabidopsis female gametophyte during heat stress. Plant Reproduction, 33:111–116. [IF 4.217 : Q1 : citations- 2].

    15) 2020. Ambastha V and Leshem Y. Cyclin B1;1 activity is observed in lateral roots but not in the primary root during lethal salinity. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 15:8 e1776026 (cover page). [IF 2.247 : Q1 : citations- 2].

    16) 2021. Vanti GL, Leshem Y and Masaphy S. Resistance response enhancement and reduction of Botrytis cinerea infection in strawberry fruit by Morchella conica mycelial extract. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 175:111470. [IF 6.751: Q1 : citations- 7].

    17) 2021. Li G, Li Z, Yang Z, Leshem Y, Shen Y, and Men S. Mitochondrial Heat Shock Cognate Protein 70 Contributes to Auxin-mediated Embryo Development. Plant Physiology. 186(2):1101-1121. [IF 8.340 : Q1 : citations- 1].

    18) 2021. Ambastha V, Matityahu I, Dafna Tidhar and Leshem Y. RabA2b Overexpression Alters the Plasma-Membrane Proteome and Improves Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis. Frontiers in Plant Science 12:738694 [IF 6.627 : Q1 : citations- 0].

    19) 2021. Tadmor Y, Raz A, Reikin-Barak S, Ambastha V, Shemesh E, Leshem Y, Crane O, Stern R, Goldway M, Tchernov D and Liran O. (2021). “Metamitron, a Photosynthetic Electron Transport Chain Inhibitor, Modulates the Photoprotective Mechanism of Apple Trees”. Plants 10:2803. [IF 4.827 : Q1 : citations- 3].

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