Prof. Adi Avni

Molecular Biology Ecology of Plants
Faculty of Life Sciences
ביולוגיה מול.ואקול.צמחים סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Adi Avni
Phone: 03-6409840
Another phone: 03-6405323
External phone: 050-8803319
Fax: 03-6410195
Office: Britannia-Porter, 628


Adi Avni received his M.Sc. in Neurobiology and Ph.D. at the Plant Genetics from the Weizmann Institute of Science. . From 1990 to 1993 he carried out postdoctoral research at the USDA, Beltsville MD, USA and joined the Department of Plant Sciences in 1993. Adi’s scientific interests are primarily in the area of Synthetic Biology,  Genetic, Gene Editing and Plant innate immunity signaling.





Ph.D.; Plant Genetics, The Weizmann Institute of Science

1982-1984 M.Sc.; Neurobiology, The Weizmann Institute of Science
1979-1982 B.Sc.; Biology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Academic Appointments:

2010-present Professor; Tel Aviv University
2005-2010 Associate Professor; Tel Aviv University
2001-2002 Research Associate (Sabbatical); USDA/ARS Beltsville, MD, USA
1999-2005 Senior Lecturer, Tel Aviv University
1993-1999  Lecturer, Tel Aviv University
1990-1993  Research Associate; USDA/ARS Beltsville, MD, USA



Research Interest

We study the development of biosensors for agriculture and food where we use micro and nanoscale technologies. The goal is to develop sensors that will be integrated on the plant (i.e. leaves, stem, rhizosphere, etc.) for early detection of various parameters that are the key factors in the food chain. 

The goal to develop, generate and evaluate a radical multi-functional plant-based biosensor for biotic and abiotic stresses encountered by different crop plants in agricultural settings. This project is based on years of research in both plant sciences and electrical and optical engineering, culminating in the understanding that the future of functional sensing in agriculture depends on amalgamated technologies and biosensors comprised of a biological and engineering component working in concert to achieve the most biologically relevant and accurately measurable signal for effective precision agriculture. We apply synthetic biology, genetic, gene editing techniques in our research.

The second research subject in the laboratory interest is the study of the induction of plant innate immunity: Plant resistance against disease involves inducible defense mechanisms (innate immunity). Our research focuses on understanding the signal transduction pathway by which a fungal protein induces innate immunity in tomato and tobacco plants. We address this question from several angles: We use a genetic approach to isolate novel genes from tomatoes that are involved in the induction of innate immunity. Using biochemistry, genome editing, and cell biology techniques, we study the signaling process that leads to the induction of innate immunity




Kadan-Jamal, K., M. Sophocleous, J. Aakash, D. Desagani, O. Teig-Sussholz, J. Georgiou, A. Avni, and Y. Shacham-Diamand (2021) Electrical impedance spectroscopy of plant cells in aqueous buffer media over a wide frequency range of 4 Hz to 20 GHz. MethodsX.

Sussholz, O., L. Pizarro, S. Schuster, and A. Avni (2020) SlRLK-like is a malectin-like domain protein affecting localization and abundance of LeEIX2 receptor resulting in suppression of EIX-induced immune responses. Plant Journal. 104(5): p. 1369-1381.

Pizarro, L., M. Leibman-Markus, R. Gupta, N. Kovetz, I. Shtein, E. Bar, R. Davidovich-Rikanati, R. Zarivach, E. Lewinsohn, A. Avni, and M. Bar (2020) A gain of function mutation in SlNRC4a enhances basal immunity resulting in broad-spectrum disease resistance. Communications Biology. 3(1).

Kadan-Jamal, K., M. Sophocleous, A. Jog, D. Desagani, O. Teig-Sussholz, J. Georgiou, A. Avni, and Y. Shacham-Diamand (2020) Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy of plant cells in aqueous biological buffer solutions and their modelling using a unified electrical equivalent circuit over a wide frequency range: 4Hz to 20 GHz. Biosensors & Bioelectronics. 168.

Pizarro, L., M. Leibman-Markus, S. Schuster, M. Bar, and A. Avni (2019) Tomato Dynamin Related Protein 2A Associates With LeEIX2 and Enhances PRR Mediated Defense by Modulating Receptor Trafficking. Frontiers in Plant Science. 10.

Pizarro, L., M. Leibman-Markus, S. Schuster, M. Bar, and A. Avni (2019) Tomato Dynamin Related Protein 2A Associates With LeEIX2 and Enhances PRR Mediated Defense by Modulating Receptor Trafficking. Front Plant Sci. 10: p. 936.

Kand, D., L. Pizarro, I. Angel, A. Avni, D. Friedmann-Morvinski, and R. Weinstain (2019) Organelle-Targeted BODIPY Photocages: Visible-Light-Mediated Subcellular Photorelease. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition. 58(14): p. 4659-4663.

Pizarro, L., M. Leibman-Markus, S. Schuster, M. Bar, T. Meltz, and A. Avni (2018) Tomato Prenylated RAB Acceptor Protein 1 Modulates Trafficking and Degradation of the Pattern Recognition Receptor LeEIX2, Affecting the Innate Immune Response. Front Plant Sci. 9: p. 257.

Pizarro, L., M. Leibman-Markus, S. Schuster, M. Bar, and A. Avni (2018) SlPRA1A/RAB attenuate EIX immune responses via degradation of LeEIX2 pattern recognition receptor. Plant Signal Behav. 13(5): p. e1467689.

Pandey, R., O. Teig-Sussholz, S. Schuster, A. Avni, and Y. Shacham-Diamand (2018) Integrated electrochemical Chip-on-Plant functional sensor for monitoring gene expression under stress. Biosens Bioelectron. 117: p. 493-500.

Leibman-Markus, M., L. Pizarro, S. Schuster, Z.J.D. Lin, O. Gershony, M. Bar, G. Coaker, and A. Avni (2018) The intracellular nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat receptor (SlNRC4a) enhances immune signalling elicited by extracellular perception. Plant Cell Environ. 41(10): p. 2313-2327.

Leibman-Markus, M., L. Pizarro, M. Bar, G. Coaker, and A. Avni (2018) NRC proteins - a critical node for pattern and effector mediated signaling. Plant Signal Behav. 13(8): p. e1507404.

Jacob, P., A. Avni, and A. Bendahmane (2018) Translational Research: Exploring and Creating Genetic Diversity. Trends in Plant Science. 23(1): p. 42-52.

Hyams, G., S. Abadi, S. Lahav, A. Avni, E. Halperin, E. Shani, and I. Mayrose (2018) CRISPys: Optimal sgRNA Design for Editing Multiple Members of a Gene Family Using the CRISPR System. J Mol Biol. 430(15): p. 2184-2195.

Leibman-Markus, M., S. Schuster, and A. Avni (2017) LeEIX2 Interactors' Analysis and EIX-Mediated Responses Measurement. Methods Mol Biol. 1578: p. 167-172.

Sharfman, M., M. Bar, S. Schuster, M. Leibman, and A. Avni (2014) Sterol-dependent induction of plant defense responses by a microbe-associated molecular pattern from Trichoderma viride. Plant Physiol. 164(2): p. 819-827.

Bar, M., S. Schuster, M. Leibman, R. Ezer, and A. Avni (2014) The function of EHD2 in endocytosis and defense signaling is affected by SUMO. Plant Mol Biol. 84(4-5): p. 509-518.

Bar, M. and A. Avni (2014) Endosomal trafficking and signaling in plant defense responses. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 22: p. 86-92.

Bar, M., M. Leibman, S. Schuster, H. Pitzhadza, and A. Avni (2013) EHD1 functions in endosomal recycling and confers salt tolerance. PLoS One. 8(1): p. e54533.

Sharfman, M., M. Bar, M. Ehrlich, S. Schuster, S. Melech-Bonfil, R. Ezer, G. Sessa, and A. Avni (2011) Endosomal signaling of the tomato leucine-rich repeat receptor-like protein LeEix2. Plant J. 68(3): p. 413-423.

Bar, M., M. Sharfman, and A. Avni (2011) LeEix1 functions as a decoy receptor to attenuate LeEix2 signaling. Plant Signal Behav. 6(3): p. 455-457.

Avni, A. and M.A. Blazquez (2011) Can plant biotechnology help in solving our food and energy shortage in the future? Curr Opin Biotechnol. 22(2): p. 220-223.

Meiri, D., K. Tazat, R. Cohen-Peer, O. Farchi-Pisanty, K. Aviezer-Hagai, A. Avni, and A. Breiman (2010) Involvement of Arabidopsis ROF2 (FKBP65) in thermotolerance. Plant Mol Biol. 72(1-2): p. 191-203.

Dayan, J., M. Schwarzkopf, A. Avni, and R. Aloni (2010) Enhancing plant growth and fiber production by silencing GA 2-oxidase. Plant Biotechnol J. 8(4): p. 425-435.

Cohen-Peer, R., S. Schuster, D. Meiri, A. Breiman, and A. Avni (2010) Sumoylation of Arabidopsis heat shock factor A2 (HsfA2) modifies its activity during acquired thermotholerance. Plant Mol Biol. 74(1-2): p. 33-45.

Bar, M., M. Sharfman, M. Ron, and A. Avni (2010) BAK1 is required for the attenuation of ethylene-inducing xylanase (Eix)-induced defense responses by the decoy receptor LeEix1. Plant J. 63(5): p. 791-800.

Bar, M., M. Sharfman, S. Schuster, and A. Avni (2009) The coiled-coil domain of EHD2 mediates inhibition of LeEix2 endocytosis and signaling. PLoS One. 4(11): p. e7973.

Bar, M. and A. Avni, Endocytosis in Plant Fungal Interactions, in Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology Series, J.G. Seckbach, M. , Editor. 2009, Springer: Dordrecht, NL.

Bar, M. and A. Avni (2009) EHD2 inhibits ligand-induced endocytosis and signaling of the leucine-rich repeat receptor-like protein LeEix2. Plant J. 59(4): p. 600-611.

Bar, M. and A. Avni (2009) EHD2 inhibits signaling of leucine rich repeat receptor-like proteins. Plant Signal Behav. 4(7): p. 682-684.

Muthappa, S., C. Ryu, M. Sharfman, A. Avni, and K.S. Mysore (2008) Identification of plant defense signaling components induced in response to fungal elicitor EIX. Phytopathology. 98(6): p. S111-S111.

Bar, M., S. Benjamin, M. Horowitz, and A. Avni (2008) AtEHDs in endocytosis. Plant Signal Behav. 3(11): p. 1008-1010.

Bar, M., M. Aharon, S. Benjamin, B. Rotblat, M. Horowitz, and A. Avni (2008) AtEHDs, novel Arabidopsis EH-domain-containing proteins involved in endocytosis. Plant J. 55(6): p. 1025-1038.

Steindler, L., S. Schuster, M. Ilan, A. Avni, C. Cerrano, and S. Beer (2007) Differential gene expression in a marine sponge in relation to its symbiotic state. Mar Biotechnol (NY). 9(5): p. 543-549.

Magiri, E.N., O. Farchi-Pisanty, A. Avni, and A. Breiman (2006) The expression of the large rice FK506 binding proteins (FKBPs) demonstrate tissue specificity and heat stress responsiveness. Plant Science. 170(4): p. 695-704.

Steindler, L., D. Huchon, A. Avni, and M. Ilan (2005) 16S rRNA phylogeny of sponge-associated cyanobacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol. 71(7): p. 4127-4131.

Matarasso, N., S. Schuster, and A. Avni (2005) A novel plant cysteine protease has a dual function as a regulator of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic Acid synthase gene expression. Plant Cell. 17(4): p. 1205-1216.

Bonshtien, A., A. Lev, A. Gibly, P. Debbie, A. Avni, and G. Sessa (2005) Molecular properties of the Xanthomonas AvrRxv effector and global transcriptional changes determined by its expression in resistant tomato plants. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 18(4): p. 300-310.

Ron, M. and A. Avni (2004) The receptor for the fungal elicitor ethylene-inducing xylanase is a member of a resistance-like gene family in tomato. Plant Cell. 16(6): p. 1604-1615.

Sobolev, V., A. Niztaev, U. Pick, A. Avni, and M. Edelman (2002) A case study in applying docking predictions: Modelling the tentoxin binding sites of chloroplast F1-ATPase. Current Science. 83(7): p. 857-867.

Rotblat, B., D. Enshell-Seijffers, J.M. Gershoni, S. Schuster, and A. Avni (2002) Identification of an essential component of the elicitation active site of the EIX protein elicitor. Plant J. 32(6): p. 1049-1055.

Elbaz, M., A. Avni, and M. Weil (2002) Constitutive caspase-like machinery executes programmed cell death in plant cells. Cell Death Differ. 9(7): p. 726-733.

Ron, M., R. Kantety, G.B. Martin, N. Avidan, Y. Eshed, D. Zamir, and A. Avni (2000) High-resolution linkage analysis and physical characterization of the EIX-responding locus in tomato. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 100(2): p. 184-189.

Hanania, U., N. Furman-Matarasso, M. Ron, and A. Avni (1999) Isolation of a novel SUMO protein from tomato that suppresses EIX-induced cell death. Plant J. 19(5): p. 533-541.

Furman-Matarasso, N., E. Cohen, Q. Du, N. Chejanovsky, U. Hanania, and A. Avni (1999) A point mutation in the ethylene-inducing xylanase elicitor inhibits the beta-1-4-endoxylanase activity but not the elicitation activity. Plant Physiol. 121(2): p. 345-351.

Aloni, R., A. Wolf, P. Feigenbaum, A. Avni, and H.J. Klee (1998) The never ripe mutant provides evidence that tumor-induced ethylene controls the morphogenesis of agrobacterium tumefaciens-induced crown galls on tomato stems. Plant Physiol. 117(3): p. 841-849.

Garty, J., N. Kloog, R. Wolfson, Y. Cohen, A. Karnieli, and A. Avni (1997) The influence of air pollution on the concentration of mineral elements, on the spectral reflectance response and on the production of stress-ethylene in the lichen Ramalina duriaei. New Phytologist. 137(4): p. 587-597.

Bailey, B.A., A. Avni, and J.D. Anderson (1995) The influence of ethylene and tissue age on the sensitivity of Xanthi tobacco leaves to a Trichoderma viride xylanase. Plant and Cell Physiology. 36(8): p. 1669-1676.

Avni, A., B.A. Bailey, A.K. Mattoo, and J.D. Anderson (1994) Induction of Ethylene Biosynthesis in Nicotiana-Tabacum by a Trichoderma-Viride Xylanase Is Correlated to the Accumulation of 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-Carboxylic Acid (Acc) Synthase and Acc Oxidase Transcripts. Plant Physiology. 106(3): p. 1049-1055.

Avni, A., B.A. Bailey, A.K. Mattoo, and J.D. Anderson (1994) Induction of ethylene biosynthesis in Nicotiana tabacum by a Trichoderma viride xylanase is correlated to the accumulation of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase and ACC oxidase transcripts. Plant Physiol. 106(3): p. 1049-1055.

Acher, A.J., C.J. Hapeman, D.R. Shelton, M.T. Muldoon, W.R. Lusby, A. Avni, and W. R. (1994) Comparison of Formation and Biodegradation of Bromacil Oxidation-Products in Aqueous-Solutions. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 42: p. 2040-2047.

Bailey, B.A., A. Avni, N. Li, A.K. Mattoo, and J.D. Anderson (1992) Nucleotide-Sequence of the Nicotiana-Tabacum Cv Xanthi Gene Encoding 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-Carboxylate Synthase. Plant Physiology. 100(3): p. 1615-1616.

Bailey, B.A., A. Avni, N. Li, A.K. Mattoo, and J.D. Anderson (1992) Nucleotide Sequence of the Nicotiana tabacum cv Xanthi Gene Encoding 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-Carboxylate Synthase. Plant Physiol. 100(3): p. 1615-1616.

Avni, A., J.D. Anderson, N. Holland, J.D. Rochaix, Z. Gromet-Elhanan, and M. Edelman (1992) Tentoxin sensitivity of chloroplasts determined by codon 83 of beta subunit of proton-ATPase. Science. 257(5074): p. 1245-1247.

Avni, A., R.A. Mehta, A.K. Mattoo, B.M. Greenberg, B.B. Chattoo, D. Heller, and M. Edelman (1991) Nucleotide sequence of the Spirodela oligorrhiza chloroplast psbA gene coding for the D1 (32 kDa) photosystem II protein. Plant Mol Biol. 17(4): p. 919-921.

Avni, A. and M. Edelman (1991) Direct selection for paternal inheritance of chloroplasts in sexual progeny of Nicotiana. Mol Gen Genet. 225(2): p. 273-277.

Avni, A., S. Avital, and Z. Gromet-Elhanan (1991) Reactivation of the chloroplast CF1-ATPase beta subunit by trace amounts of the CF1 alpha subunit suggests a chaperonin-like activity for CF1 alpha. J Biol Chem. 266(12): p. 7317-7320.

Avni, A., M. Edelman, I. Rachailovich, D. Aviv, and R. Fluhr (1989) A point mutation in the gene for the large subunit of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase affects holoenzyme assembly in Nicotiana tabacum. EMBO J. 8(7): p. 1915-1918.

Zevin-Sonkin, D., A. Avni, R. Zisling, R. Koch, and H. Soreq (1985) Expression of acetylcholinesterase gene(s) in the human brain: molecular cloning evidence for cross-homologous sequences. J Physiol (Paris). 80(4): p. 221-228.

Zakut, H., A. Matzkel, E. Schejter, A. Avni, and H. Soreq (1985) Polymorphism of acetylcholinesterase in discrete regions of the developing human fetal brain. J Neurochem. 45(2): p. 382-389.

Soreq, H., D. Zevinsonkin, A. Avni, L. Hall, and P. Spierer (1985) Human Acetylcholinesterase Gene Is Homologous to the Ace Locus in Drosophila. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. 3: p. 429-429.

Soreq, H., D. Zevin-Sonkin, A. Avni, L.M. Hall, and P. Spierer (1985) A human acetylcholinesterase gene identified by homology to the Ace region of Drosophila. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 82(6): p. 1827-1831.




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