Cucurbits transformation center (CtrC)
Research project 26
Project researchers: Dr. Ziv Spiegelman and Dr. Yaakov Tadmor

Recent advancements in genome editing using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology have provided an opportunity for genetic improvement of essential traits in various crop varieties, including those that belong to the Cucurbitaceae family. However, effective utilization of this technology, which has a vast potential for crop improvement, is hampered by a lack of efficient plant transformation protocols.

The main goal of this study is to develop efficient and robust transformation methods of melon, cucumber and watermelon of several different commercially important cultivars. Subsequently, the CRISPR/Cas9 technology will be employed to mutate target genes, and the regenerated plants will be phenotypically characterized.

מחקר מס' 26 – זיו שפיגלמן
Regeneration of watermelon plants

Dr. Ziv Spiegelman 
Project researcher

Plant Protection, Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Research, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.

Dr. Ziv Spiegelman

Research areas:

  • Developing novel approaches for viral resistance in vegetable crops.
  • Long-distance and cell-to-cell movement of plant viruses.
  • Interaction of plant viruses with the root system.
  • Viral silencing suppression and its effect on plant development.

Dr. Yaakov (Kobi) Tadmor 
Project researcher

Agricultural Research Organization, Newe Ya’ar Research Center.

Dr. Yaakov Tadmor

Research areas:

  • Development and discovery of unique plant material for research and breeding purposes.
  • Genetic and chemical analyses of health and quality compounds and traits in agricultural products.

Research partners:

Dr. Hagit Hak

Dr. Hagit Hak
Research Associate

Email: hagith@volcani.agri.gov.il

Research areas:
Genome editing Trait improvement.

Institution:
Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Research, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.

Meital Shtarkman-Cohen

Meital Shtarkman-Cohen
Research Engineer

Research areas:
Transformation and genomic editing in gourds.

Institution:
Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Research, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.