Prof. Amir Sharon

Molecular Biology Ecology of Plants
Faculty of Life Sciences
ביולוגיה מול.ואקול.צמחים סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Amir Sharon
Phone: 03-6406741
Fax: 03-6405498
Office: Britannia-Porter, 535



Period Degree Institute Faculty/Department
1980 – 1983 B.Sc. Hebrew University Agriculture
1984 – 1986 M.Sc. Hebrew University Agriculture
1986 – 1991 Ph.D. Weizmann Institute of science Plant Sciences
1991 – 1992 Post doctoral fellow University of Maryland Plant Sciences
1992 – 1994 Post doctoral fellow Cornell University Plant Pathology


Academic Appointments

Period Rank/Function School/Department Institute
2013 - present Head of the Institute Institute for Cereal Crops Improvement Tel Aviv University
2008 - present Full Professor Department of Plant Sciences Tel Aviv University
2003 - 2008 Associate Professor Department of Plant Sciences Tel Aviv University
1998 - 2003 Senior Lecturer Department of Plant Sciences Tel Aviv University
1994 - 1998 Lecturer Department of Plant Sciences Tel Aviv University

Research Interests

My lab studies various aspects of fungal biology and fungal– plant interactions.

Main research systems and projects

  • Pathogenic development of the grey mold fungus Botrytis cinerea. This fungus is among the most devastating plant pathogens. It attacks many crop plants and is considered the most significant damaging agent in strawberry, grapes and cannabis. Our projects are aimed at understanding molecular mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity and their exploitation in control of disease development. Specific projects include: autophagy-mediated stress adaptation, fungal effectors and their use for generation of fungal resistant plants.
  • Fungal endophytes of cereal plants. Endophytic fungi reside inside plants and are part of the plant microbiome. We study fungal endophyte communities in cereal crops-related wild species. Our goal is to obtain information that will lead to identification of beneficial fungal endophytes that have potential in crop improvement.
  • Development of durable disease resistant wheat. Wild plants are rich source of novel traits that can be used for crop improvement. We are interested in isolation of novel disease resistance genes from wheat-related wild species and use them to produce durable disease resistance in elite wheat cultivars. The project makes use of advanced genomic and genotyping-based approaches that facilitate identification and cloning of candidate genes. Cloned genes are transformed into wheat to verify their function.

Recent Publications

Selected publications (since 2011)


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.


Shlezinger N., Doron A., Sharon A. 2011. Apoptosis in the grey mold fungus Botrytis cinerea: Molecular components and role in pathogenicity. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 39: 1493-1498.


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.


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.


Shlezinger N., Goldfinger N., Sharon A. (2012). Apoptotic-like programmed cell death in fungi: the benefits in filamentous species. Front. Mol. Cel. Oncol. 2: 97(1-8).


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. Eukar 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. Microb Cell 1: 406-415.


Shlezinger N., Israeli M., Mochly E., Oren-Young L., Zhu W. and Sharon A. (2016). Translocation from nuclei to cytoplasm is necessary for anti A-PCD activity and turnover of the Type II IAP BcBir1. Mol Microbiol 99: 393–406.


Ofek-Lalzar M., Gur Y., Ben-Moshe S., Sharon O., Kosman E., Mochly E. and Sharon A. (2016). Diversity of fungal endophytes in recent and ancient wheat ancestors Triticum dicoccoides and Aegilops sharonensis. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 92: fiw152.


Minz-Dub A. and Sharon A. (2016). The Botrytis cinerea PAK kinase BcCla4 mediates morphogenesis, growth and cell cycle regulating processes downstream of BcRac. Mol Microbiol 104: 487-498.


Genenncher B., Wirthmueller L., Roth C., Klenke M., Ma L., Sharon A. and Wiermer M. (2016). Nucleoporin-regulated MAP kinase signaling in Arabidopsis immunity to a necrotrophic fungus. Plant Physiol 172: 1293-1305.


Münsterkötter M., Niehaus EM., Proctor RH., Brwon DW., Sharon A., Idan I., Oren-Young L., Sieber CM., Novák O., Pěnčík A., Tarkowská D., Hromadová K., Freeman S., Maymon M., Elazar M., Youssef SA., El-Shabrawy ESM., Shalaby AA., Houterman P., Brock NL., Burkhardt I., Tsavkelova EA, Dickschat JS., Galuszka P., Güldener U. and Tudzynski B. (2016). Comparative ‘omics’ of the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex highlights differences in genetic potential and metabolite synthesis. Gen Biol Evol. 8: 3574-3599.


Ma L., Salas O., Bowler K., Oren-Young L., Bar-Peled M. and Sharon A. (2016). Genetic alteration of UDP-rhamnose metabolism in Botrytis cinerea leads to accumulation of UDP-KDG that adversely affects development and pathogenicity. Mol Plant Pathol 18: 263-275.


Avni R et al. (2017). Wild emmer genome assembly provides insights into wheat evolution and domestication. Science 357: 93-97.


Eizner E., Ronen M., Gur Y., Gavish A., Zhu W. and Sharon A. (2017). Characterization of Botrytis-plant interactions using PathTrack© - an automated system for dynamic analysis of disease development. Mol Plant Pathol 18: 503-512.


Shlezinger N., Irmer H., Dhingra S., Beattie SR., Cramer RA., Braus, GH., *Sharon A., *Hohl TM. (2017). Sterilizing immunity in the lung relies on targeting fungal apoptosis-like programmed cell death. Science 357: 1037-1041. *Corresponding authors. Recommended by F1000.


Zhu W., Ronen M., Gur Y., Minz-Dub A., Masrati G., Ben-Tal N., Savidor A., Sharon I., Eizner E., Valeriu O., Braus GH., Bowler K., Bar-Peled M., Sharon A. (2017). BcXYG1, a secreted xyloglucanase from Botrytis cinerea, triggers both cell death and plant immune responses. Plant Physiol 175: 172-185.


Ma L., Salas, O., Bowler K., Bar-Peled M., Sharon A. (2017). UDP-KDG, a native antifungal compound, weakens fungal cell wall partly by inhibition of UDP-galactopyranose mutase. mBio 8: e01559-17.


Carmona-Gutierrez D et al (2018). Guidelines and recommendations on yeast cell death nomenclature. Microb Cell 5: 5-31


Shlezinger N., Irmer H., Dhingra S., Beattie SR., Cramer RA., Braus, GH., *Sharon A., *Hohl TM. (2018). Response to Comment on “Sterilizing immunity in the lung relies on targeting fungal apoptosis-like programmed cell death”. Science 360: eaas9457.


Vrabka J et al., (2018). Production and role of hormones during interaction of Fusarium species with maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings. Front. Plant Sci. 9:1936.


Llorens E, Sharon O, Camañes G, García-Agustín P, Sharon A. (2019). Drought-protecting endophytes shield host plants from sensing the stress. Environ Microbiol 21: 3299–3312.


Khazan S, Minz-Dub A, Sela H, Manisterski j, Ben-Yehuda P, Sharon A and Millet E. (2020). Reducing the size of an alien segment carrying leaf rust and stripe rust resistance in wheat. BMC Plant Biology. BMC Plant Biol 20:153.


Sun X, Kosman E, Sharon O, Ezrati S, Sharon A (2020). Significant host- and environment-dependent differentiation among highly sporadic fungal endophyte communities in cereal crops-related wild grasses. Environ Microbiol. Under review.

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