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Molecular Phytopathology

Dr. Ofir Degani

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The research focuses on molecular approaches for understanding and prevention of maize fungal diseases.

Research Topics:
Involvement of Magnaporthiopsis maydis in late wilt disease of sweet corn, characterization of the disease cycle and identifying means of control:

  • Morphological, physiological and molecular characterization of the pathogen.
  • Developing molecular and other methods for M. maydis identification in the host tissues.
  • Characterization of the disease stages and the involvement of environmental factors in its progression.
  • Identifying and applying biological, chemical and agrotechnical means to control late wilt.
  • Identifying resistant factors in different varieties of maize host plants.


G protein and MAPK pathways in the maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus: signaling for gene expression, development, and virulence.

  • Comparing the role of the Gα subunit to the role of Gβ subunit and MAPK through the study of loss-of-function mutants in order to learn about possible interconnections and common roles.
  • Identifying C. heterostrophus hydrophobin genes and studying the role of G-protein and MAPK in controlling their expression.
  • Understanding the Regulation of Fungicides Activity and Resistance through Fungal Signaling Pathways.



Ph.D. 2005, Biology, Technion Institute of Technology
M.Sc. 2001, Biology, Technion Institute of Technology

Academic and research experience
2007- Present  Researcher, MIGAL - Galilee Research Institute (Israel), Molecular Phytopathology
2005–2007 Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Doron Goldberg, MIGAL - Galilee Technology Center
2006- Lecturer and staff member, Tel-Hai Academic College
2001- Lecturer and staff member, Ohalo academic College

Other activity and service
2014- Present Head of the North Israel Group of Centers for Gifted and Talented Children
2008- Present Director of the gifted child center, Tel-Hai Academic College, Israel

Selected Publications

Evaluating Azoxystrobin seed coating against maize late wilt disease using a sensitive qPCR-based method.

Plant Disease 2019 Volume 103 Issue 2 Pages 238-248 Degani O., Movshowitz D., Dor S., Meerson A., Goldblat Y., and Rabinovitz O. Read online


Post-graduate and post-doctoral research training


Laboratories and research projects


Business opportunities and technology transfer