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Welcome to the Michaeli lab

cell biology, biochemistry, and physiology of

plant senescence and ripening

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ABOUT
 

The Michaeli lab is part of the Institute of Postharvest and Food Sciences @Volcani Institute (Agricultural Research Organization), which is situated at the heart of Israel, at the north tip of Rishon LeZion (only 15 minutes drive from Tel-Aviv).

Our hope to delay aging goes back to the dawn of humanity. Plants, especially trees, are masters of extended lifespan, some reaching hundreds and even thousands of years.

Understanding plant aging is critical for our environment, agriculture and food security.

 

Senescence and Ripening of Plant Produce for Increased Food Security

One of the current grand challenges of humanity is to maintain global food security for an ever-growing population, while global temperatures are rising. On one hand, scientists try to find ways to increase crops yield. However, this is only part of the equation. The other important aspect is the prevention of food loss, which may be achieved by delaying plant produce postharvest senescence and regulating fruit ripening.

About
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Research

Leaf Senescence and Fruit Ripening Regulation by Cellular Degradation Pathways

Biosynthesis (of metabolites, macro-molecules, cellular organelles, etc) is essential for all life forms on earth. In parallel, degradation mechanisms must ensure the dismantling and recycling of these substances for proper cellular homeostasis (energetic balance). When this balance is interrupted, senescence, aging, disease, and eventually death occur. Plants (and other eukaryotes) possess several cellular degradation pathways. Two of these include autophagy and the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). These pathways exhibit a major role in lifespan modulation. For instance, autophagy deficiency results in earlier plant senescence, whereas constitutive autophagy prolongs lifespan.

We will identify molecular mechanisms that govern fruit ripening and leaf senescence, and harness our knowledge to increase plant produce lifespan (shelf life).

Techniques:

Molecular Biology, Leaf and Fruit Physiology analysis, Biochemistry, Genetics (including gene editing), Proteomics and Live Microscopy Imaging.

Our Experimental subjects:

Arabidopsis (model organism), Rocket leaves (crop), Tomato (crop and model) and Banana fruit (crop).

Gallery
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simonm@volcani.agri.gov.il

Tel: +972-(0)3-968-3618

Simon Michaeli, Ph.D.

Group leader

Simon obtained his Ph.D. at Tel-Aviv University where he studied the cross-membrane transport of the stress-related molecule GABA in Arabidopsis. Simon then joined the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot as a postdoc where he identified selective-autophagy of chloroplast proteins during leaf senescence. To further investigate how viruses evolved to subvert autophagy, simon then moved to France (CNRS Montpellier and Strasbourg). Later, Simon returned to the Weizmann Institute where he was involved in developing methods for advanced live microscopy imaging of plants and phytoplankton. Today, Simon is a group leader at the Postharvest Department of the Volcani Institute, trying to solve some unknown mysteries of leaf senescence and fruit ripening with the rest of the gang, which you may see below.

Tomatoes

Sharon Alkalai-Tuvia

Lab manager

More info will be added soon...

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Gil Feinberg

M.Sc. student

More info will be added soon...

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Ebenezer Quandoh

M.Sc. student

More info will be added soon...

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kumarang@volcani.agri.gov.il

Tel: +972-(0)3-968-3624

Girishkumar Kumaran, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Girish completed his Ph.D. at Ariel University where he worked on the structure of the mouse kidney and mapping the localization of epithelial sodium channels. Currently, Girish is interested in the role autophagy plays in fruits, focusing on tomatoes.

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pradeepk@volcani.agri.gov.il

Tel: +972-(0)3-968-3624

Dr. Pradeep Kumar Pathak

Postdoctoral Fellow

Pradeep completed his Ph.D. at National Institute of Plant Genome research, New Delhi, India, where he worked on the role of hypoxia-induced Nitric oxide in plant protection against Pathogens. Currently, Pradeep is interested in deciphering the autophagy-ethylene crosstalk.

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Naama Sfar

M.Sc. Student

Added soon...

Petri Dishes

You?

Potential student/postdoc

We are constantly looking for curious students to join our group.

If you are interested in doing your M.Sc. or Ph.D. training with us, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Simon Michaeli: simonm@volcani.agri.gov.il.

Representation

 GET IN ToUCH! 

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contact

Dept. of Postharvest Science, Institute of Postharvest and Food Sciences, Volcani Institute, ARO, P.O.B 15159, HaMaccabim Road 68, Rishon LeZion 7505101, Israel.

Tel: +972-(0)3-968-3618

simonm@volcani.agri.gov.il

 

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