Prof. Amir Sharon

ביולוגיה מול.ואקול.צמחים סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Amir Sharon
Phone: 03-6406741
External phone: 04-6230266
Fax: 03-6405498
Office: Britannia-Porter, 535


I received my PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1991 and joined the Life Science Faculty at Tel Aviv University in 1994, after a post doctorate at Cornell University, NY. My fields of study were plant pathology and mycology, with emphasis on fungal-plant interactions.


Research Interests

My interest lies in understanding how fungal development is regulated at the cellular and molecular levels and how it reflects on the interaction of fungi with other organisms, particularly plants. Current projects are focused on analysis of fungal apoptosis and the role that it plays in disease development, basic mechanisms underlying pathogenicity of necrotrophic fungi, and study of endophytes in wheat-related wild grasses.


Our goals are:

  • To generate detailed knowledge of fungal apoptotic networks in order to develop novel antifungal compounds that will target the apoptotic machinery
  • To determine the role of apoptosis in fungal pathogenicity


Specific topics:

  • Genomic and bioinformatics analyses of the plant pathogen Botrytis cinerea to identify proteins of the apoptotic network.
  • Elucidating the roles of specific apoptotic proteins using genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches:
  • Screens for identification of compounds that target the fungal apoptotic machinery and might be used for development of novel antifungal drugs


Additional projects:

  • Genetic analysis of Botrytis-Arabidopsis interaction
  • Regulation of spore germination
  • A server for identification of fungal proteins. We have developed a database and an automated search program to identify fungal homologs of proteins and domains from other organisms. You are welcome to try it at the following link:


Recent Publications

Maor R., Puyesky M., Horwitz B.A. and Sharon A. (1998). Use of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) for studying development and fungal-plant interaction in Cochliobolus heterostrophus. Mycol. Res. 102: 491-496.


Ermolieva S., Sharon A., Hadar R., Ma H. and Horwitz B.A. (1999). A MAP kinase of the corn leaf pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus is involved in conidiation, appressorium formation and pathogenicity: diverse roles for MAPK homologs in foliar pathogens. Proc. Natl. Acd. Sci. USA. 96: 13542-13547.


Tudzynski B. and Sharon A. (2001). Biosynthesis, biological role and application of fungal phytohormones. In: H.D. Osiewacz ed. The Mycota, Industrial applications, Vol. X, pp 183-211. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.


Oren L., Ezrati S., Liberman Z., Cohen D. and Sharon A. (2003). Early events in the Fusarium verticillioides-maize interaction characterized by using a green fluorescent protein-expressing transgenic isolate. App. Envir. Microbiol. 69: 1695-1701.


Barhoom S. and Sharon A. (2004). cAMP regulation of pathogenic and saprophytic fungal spore germination. Fun. Genet. Biol. 41: 317-326.


Chagué V., Levanoni-Visel D., Siewers V., Schulze Gronover C., Tudzynski P., Tudzynski B. and Sharon A. (2006) Ethylene Sensing and gene activation in Botrytis cinerea: a missing link in ethylene regulation of fungus-plant interactions? Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 19: 33–42.


Xu J-R., Peng YL., Dickman MB., and Sharon A. (2006) The dawn of fungal pathogen genomics Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 44: 337-366.


Barhoom S. and Sharon A. (2007) Bcl-2 proteins link programmed cell death with growth and morphogenetic adaptations in the fungal plant pathogen Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. Fung. Genet. Biol. 44: 32-43.


Nesher I., Barhoom S., and Sharon A. (2008). Cell cycle and cell death are not necessary for plant infection in the fungal plant pathogen Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. BMC Biol. 6: 9


Sharon, A., Finkelshtein, A., Shlezinger, N. and Hatam I. (2009). Fungal apoptosis: function, genes and gene function. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 33: 833-854.


Sharon A. and Finkelshtein A. (2009). Programmed Cell Death in Fungal-Plant Interactions. In: Holger Deising, ed. The Mycota XXII, Plant Relationships, volume V, 2nd edition, pp 219-234.


Sharon A. (2009). Editor of a volume on: “Molecular and Cell Biology Methods for Fungi” in the book series "Methods in Molecular Biology". Humana Press, USA.


Finkelshtein A., Shlezinger N., Bunis O. and Sharon A. (2011). Botrytis cinerea BcNma is involved in apoptotic cell death but not in stress adaptation. Fung. Genet. Biol. 48: 621-630.


Nesher I., Minz A., Kokkelnik L., Tudzynski P. and Sharon A. (2011). Regulation of pathogenic spore germination by CgRac1 in the fungal plant pathogen Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. Eukar. Cell. 10: 1122-1130..


Shlezinger N., Minz A., Gur Y., Hatam I., Dagdas YF, Talbot NJ. Sharon A. (2011). Anti-apoptotic machinery protects the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea from host-induced apoptotic-like cell death during plant infection. PLoS Pathog 7 (8): e1002185.


Amselem, J., C., van Kan J. et al. (2011). Genomic analysis of the necrotrophic fungal pathogens Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea. PLoS Genet 7 (8): e1002230.


Kokkelink L., Minz A., Al-Masri M., Giesbert S., Barakat R., Sharon A., Tudzynski P. (2011). The small GTPase BcCdc42 effects nuclear division, germination and virulence of the grey mould fungus Botrytis cinerea. Fung. Genet. Biol. 48: 1012-1019. *Cover picture.


Tsavkelova E., Oeser E., Oren-Young L., Israeli M., Sasson Y., Tudzynski B., Sharon A. (2012). Identification and functional characterization of a bacteria-like gene cluster for indole-3-acetamide-mediated IAA biosynthesis in plant-associated Fusarium species. Fung. Genet. Biol. 49: 48-57.


Sharon A. and Shlezinger N. (2013). Fungi Infecting Plants and Animals: Killers, Non-Killers and Cell Death. PLoS Path. Pearls 9: e1003517.


Minz-Dub A., Kokkelink L., Tudzynski B., Tudzynski P. and Sharon A. (2013). Involvement of Botrytis cinerea Small GTPases BcRAS1 and BcRAC in Differentiation, Virulence and the Cell Cycle. Euk Cell 12: 1609-1618.


Shlezinger N., Eizner E., Minz-Dub A., Dubinski S., Tetroashvilli R. and Sharon A. (2014). Measurement of apoptosis by SCAN – a program for analysis of fluorescently labelled nuclei. Microbial Cell 1: 406-415..


Celedonio Gonzalez C., Brita-Gonzalez N. and Sharon A. 2015. Botrytis virulence factors. In: Fillinger S., Elad Y. and & Mélané Vivier M. Eds. Botrytis – the fungus, the pathogen and its management in agricultural systems. In Press.



Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
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