Dr. Ofir Degani

Dr. Ofir Degani
Principal Investigator
Phytopathology, Biological Control

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

Scientific Publications

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

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

Methods for Studying Magnaporthiopsis maydis, the Maize Late Wilt Causal Agent.

Degani O., Dor S., Movshovitz D. and Rabinovitz O.,
Agronomy 2019 Volume 9 Issue 4 Pages 181

Uncovering the host range for maize pathogen Magnaporthiopsis maydis

Dor S. and Degani O.,
Plants 2019 Volume 8 Issue 8 Pages 259

Effective chemical protection against the maize late wilt causal agent, Harpophora maydis, in the field.

Degani O., Dor S., Movshowitz D., Fraidman E., Rabinowitz O. and Graph S.,
PloS ONE 2018 Volume 13 Issue 12 Pages e0208353

Accurate virulence test method for Cochliobolus heterostrophus wild-type and mutant strains in the post-genomic era.

Degani, O.
In In Pathogenicity of Cochliobolus Species in Post Genomic Era. 1st Edition ,2017, Bengyella L. and Devi Waikhom S. Ed. ,Stadium Press LLC, Texas, USA, Pages 92-111

Plant growth hormones suppress the development of Harpophora maydis, the cause of late wilt in maize.

Degani, O., Drori R. and Goldblat Y.
Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 2015 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 137-149

Production and purification of cutinase from fusarium oxysporum using modified growth media and specificity cutinase substrate.

Degani, O.,
Applied Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology 2015 Volume 6 Issue 4 Pages 245-258.

Cochliobolus heterostrophus T-toxin gene expression modulation via G protein and MAPK pathways.

Degani, O.
Plant Protection Science 2015 Volume 51 Issue 2 Pages 53-60

Mediation of Fungicide Fludioxonil Activity and Resistance through Cochliobolus heterostrophus G-protein and MAPK Signaling Pathways.

Degani, O.,
Phytoparasitica 2015 Volume 43 Issue 2 Pages 215-228

Ambient Stresses Regulate the Development of the Maize Late Wilt Causing Agent, Harpophora Maydis.

Degani, O. and Goldblat Y.,
Agricultural Sciences 2014 Volume 5 Issue 7 Pages 571-582.

Chemical control of maize late wilt in the field.

Degani, O.,Weinberg, T. and Graph, S.,
Phytoparasitica 2014 Volume 42 Issue 4 Pages 559-570.

Diagnosis and Control of Harpophora maydis, the Cause of Late Wilt in Maize.

Degani, O., Cernica, G.,
Advances in Microbiology 2014 Volume 4 Issue 2 Pages 94-105

G protein and MAPK signaling pathways control the ability of Cochliobolus heterostrophus to exploit different carbon sources.

Degani, O.,
Advances in Biological Chemistry 2014 Volume 4 Issue 1 Pages 40-50

Gene expression modulation of two biosynthesis pathways via signal transduction in Cochliobolus heterostrophus.

Degani, O.,
Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology 2014 Volume 5 Issue 4 Pages 340-352

Pathogenicity Assay for Cochliobolus heterostrophus G-Protein and MAPK Signaling Deficiency Strains.

Degani, O.,
American Journal of Plant Sciences 2014 Volume 5 Issue 9 Pages 1318-1328

Cochliobolus heterostrophus G-protein alpha and beta subunit double mutant reveals shared and distinct roles in development and virulence

O. Degani
Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 2013 Volume 82 Issue 0 Pages 35-45

Construction of a Constitutively Activated Gα Mutant in the Maize Pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus

O. Degani
American Journal of Plant Sciences 2013 Volume 4 Pages 2394-2399

Hydrophobin gene expression in the maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus

O. Degani; S. Lev; M. Ronen
Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 2013 Volume 83 Issue 0 Pages 25-34

Molecular diagnosis for Harpophora maydis, the cause of maize late wilt in Israel

Phytopathologia Mediterranea 2012 Volume 52 Issue 1 Pages 16-29

Distinct and combined roles of the MAP kinases of Cochliobolus heterostrophus in virulence and stress responses

A. Igbaria; S. Lev; M. S. Rose; B. N. Lee; R. Hadar; O. Degani; B. A. Horwitz
Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2008 Volume 21 Issue 6 Pages 769-80