The lab activities are a blend of basic research and its application to answering modern agricultural needs as well as applied research aimed at increasing agricultural income in arid zones by adding new crops and developing new agro-techniques.
Our core research revolves around a unique family of enzymes, sulfite oxidase (SO), aldehyde oxidase (AO), nitrate reductase (NR) and xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH), the members of which contain molybdo-pterin co factors (Moco) as their active centers. The lab demonstrated that SO can control sulfur dioxide poisoning in plants and XDH has a pivotal role in remobilization of the nitrogen rich compounds, ureides, in plants during extended darkness, senescence and nitrogen limitation. Recently, we showed that degraded S-containing metabolites are a source for sulfite accumulation in plant tissue. We further coined the term "Sulfite network" and demonstrated the role of components enzymes, such as SO, sulfite reductase (SiR) and others in maintaining sulfite homeostasis, where sulfite appears to act as an orchestrating signal molecule.
In an effort to promote the growth of new species in saline environments in the Ramat HaNegev and Dead-Sea deserts, we developed halophytes as cash crops for world gourmet markets. Within a relatively short time we compiled a significant amount of know-how for the farmers. Eexports of the halophytes Salicornia and Sarcocornia as vegetable crops are estimated for 2021 to be at ca 1000 tons, which translates into about $5,000,000 worth of annual income for the farmers of the Ramat HaNegev desert and the Dead-Sea area of Israel.
|Name||Lab's Technician: Dr Dominic standing, email@example.com|