I-CORE - Israeli Centers Of Research Excellence I-CORE - Israeli Centers Of Research Excellence I-CORE - Israeli Centers Of Research Excellence Israeli Centers Of Research Excellence

I-CORE Second Wave

Plant Adaptation to Changing Environment

Plant Adaptation to Changing Environment

Comprehensive understanding and modeling of plant responses to multiple abrupt abiotic stresses and to prolonged climatic changes

 

Participating Researchers and Institutions:

 

The group selected to establish this I-CORE is a group under the scientific management group of Prof. Hillel Fromm of the Tel-Aviv University consisting of researchers from the Tel-Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Hebrew University and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

 

Scientific Director:

 

  • Prof. Fromm Hillel, Molecular Biology & Ecology of Plants, Tel Aviv University

Administrator: Dr. Aliza Finkler

 

Scientific Management Members:
 

  • Prof. Bar-Zvi Dudy, Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University
  • Prof. Chamovitz Daniel, Molecular Biology & Ecology of Plants, Tel Aviv University
  • Prof. Eshed Yuval, Plant sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Prof. Weiss David, Smith Institute for Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Hebrew University

 

Additional I-CORE Members:

 

  • Prof. Aharoni Asaph, Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Dr. Elbaum Rivka, Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Hebrew University
  • Prof. Fluhr Robert, Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Prof. Ruppin Eytan, Computer Sciences, Tel Aviv University
  • Prof. Sagi Moshe, Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, Ben-Gurion University
  • Prof. Sharan Roded, Computer Sciences, Tel Aviv University
  • Prof. Yalovsky Shaul, Molecular Biology & Ecology of Plants, Tel Aviv University
  • Prof. Zamir Daniel, Smith Institute for Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Hebrew University

 

New Faculty:

2013-14:

  • Dr. Yacoby Iftach, Tel Aviv University, returned form MIT
  • Dr. Harpaz-Saad Smadar, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, returned from North Carolina University

 

 

Research Focus:

 

Plants adjust to a changing environment by both phenotypic plasticity and adaptation through trans-generation natural selection. However, recent rapid global climate changes appear in some cases to have outpaced that ability, and increasingly such climate changes impact biodiversity of flora and fauna worldwide. Thus, the global shortages of fresh water and resulting deterioration and desertification of arable lands call into question future food security in a sustainable environment. Consequently, a great challenge for plant biologists in the 21st century is to enhance the potential of food production while considering our environment and its biodiversity. The cooperative center will host the multidisciplinary skills and approaches to address the mechanisms underlying short- and long-term plant plasticity and adaptation to environmental threats imposed by climate changes.
The I-CORE brings together plant biologists and computer scientists with the following research approaches: (1) Deciphering the genetic and epigenetic factors affecting short- and long-term (trans-generational) phenotypic plasticity and adaptation to environmental changes; (2) Elucidating the mechanisms underlying the interactions of the environment with intrinsic developmental programs, and the role of phytohormones in stress responses; (3) Elucidating the key factors regulating plant metabolism and catabolism under stress with focus on the switch-points driving cell death versus cell vitality; (4) Dynamics of cell structures (cell wall, membranes, organelles, and protein complexes) and their role in stress responses; (5) Laying a foundation for a computational perspective of plant behavior under a changing environment, and predictions of selected genetic and environmental perturbations that will bring the plant to a desired metabolic or functional state. To address these objectives, the I-CORE will establish appropriate research infrastructure including:  Plant  Phenomics Center, Climate Change Simulating Center, Metabolite Imaging & Hormone Profiling Center, Center for Analysis of Plant Stress Proteins, Computational Network Analysis & Modeling.
The I-CORE will contribute to a more holistic view of a plant in a changing environment, will boost research of fundamental scientific questions, and will impact on the local Ag-Biotech industries towards improved plant robustness under changing climate. The Center will also provide state-of-the-art education opportunities for training the next generation of plant biologists.

 

For more information please contact: alizaf@post.tau.ac.il

 

For the I-CORE website: http://www.icore-plants.tau.ac.il/