Dr. Yehoram (Yori) Leshem

Dr. Yehoram (Yori) Leshem
Senior Lecturer
Research Group Head - Principal Investigator
Research Group Leader
Research Interests:

Environmental stresses, Abiotic stresses, Vesicle trafficking, RabA small GTPases, Programmed Cell Death (PCD), Reproductive Biology, Double Fertilization

About the Lab

The deteriorating growth conditions caused by global climate change negatively affects many plant species, including staple crops, imposing a major threat for global food production. Therefore, studying how plant responds to environmental stress is of utmost importance.

In my lab we mainly study the ways plants cope with drought, salinity and heat stress. We are interested in the cellular aspects of these responses, in particular the involvement of the vesicular trafficking machinery in mediating stress tolerance. We have shown how manipulations of Rab7 and RabA (Rab11) small GTPases as well as other trafficking members such as VAMP7 SNAREs docking proteins, increase plant resistance to these stress-causing conditions.  We are also interested in cell death processes and how exactly autophagy mediated programmed cell death is regulated during extreme conditions of heat, salinity and drought.

In addition, we study sexual reproduction processes such as stigma-pollen and pollen tube-ovule interactions. We study the ways these interactions, which are critical for proper seed set and fruit development, are affected by abiotic stress.

The cellular responses to stress are studied through advanced microscopy techniques. In parallel, we use other experimental approaches such as transcriptomics, functional genetics and whole organism physiology.

We carry out our research in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana as well as its closest relative from the Brassicaceae family - Camelina sativa. We also perform outdoor research and study other plant species such as Malus domestica (apple) and Pyrus communis (pear), which are important regional crops.

We believe that our various findings can reveal novel tools that can contribute to increasing global food security.


Ph.D. 2008, Department of Plant Sciences, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
M.Sc. 2001, Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University in the Negev

B.Sc. 1997, Faculty of Agriculture, The Hebrew University, Rehovot

Academic and research experience
2008-2013 Postdoctoral fellow - the Department of Plant Biology, University of California - Davis.
2013 – Present Head of Plant Development and Adaptation laboratory MIGAL, Senior Lecturer at Tel-Hai Academic College

Scientific Publications

Discovery of microRNAs in Pyrus stigma exudates opens new research avenues in Horticulture

Vivek Ambastha, Yuval Nevo, Ifat Matityhu, David Honys and Yehoram Leshem
PNAS Nexus 2, 1–4

Low Chilling Requirement apple cultivars as a potential genomic resource for improving heat stress tolerance during global warming

Ambastha V and Leshem Y
Agricultural Research & Technology 26:3

RabA2b Overexpression Alters the Plasma-Membrane Proteome and Improves Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis

Vivek Ambastha, Ifat Matityahu, Dafna Tidhar and Yehoram Leshem
Frontiers in Plant Science 12:738694

Mitochondrial heat-shock cognate protein 70 contributes to auxin-mediated embryo development

Guichen Li, Zitong Li, Zeyun Yang, Yehoram Leshem, Yuequan Shen, Shuzhen Men
Plant Physiology

Resistance response enhancement and reduction of Botrytis cinerea infection in strawberry fruit by Morchella conica mycelial extract

Vanti GL, Leshem Y and Masaphy S
Postharvest Biology and Technology 175 (2021) 111470

Cyclin B1;1 activity is observed in lateral roots but not in the primary root during lethal salinity and salt stress recovery

Ambastha V and Leshem Y
Plant Signaling & Behavior. 15:8 e1776026

Differential cell persistence is observed in the Arabidopsis female gametophyte during heat stress

Ambastha V and Leshem Y
Plant Reproduction 33, 111–116.

Laterals take it better – Emerging and young lateral roots survive lethal salinity longer than the primary root in Arabidopsis

VivekAmbastha, Yael Friedmann & Yehoram Leshem*
Scientific Reports, 10:3291

Pollen tube entry into the synergid cell of Arabidopsis is observed at a site distinct from the filiform apparatus

Y. Leshem; C. Johnson; V. Sundaresan
Plant Reproduction 2013 Volume 26 Issue 2 Pages 93-99

Zooming into sub-organellar localization of reactive oxygen species in guard cell chloroplasts during abscisic acid and methyl jasmonate treatments

Y. Leshem; A. Levine
Plant Signaling and Behavior 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10

Molecular characterization of the glauce mutant: A central cell-specific function is required for double fertilization in Arabidopsis

Y. Leshem; C. Johnson; S. E. Wuest; X. Song; Q. A. Ngo; U. Grossniklaus; V. Sundaresan
Plant Cell 2012 Volume 24 Issue 8 Pages 3264-3277

Inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase7 regulates the production of reactive oxygen species and salt tolerance in arabidopsis

Y. Kaye; Y. Golani; Y. Singer; Y. Leshem; G. Cohen; M. Ercetin; G. Gillaspy; A. Levine
Plant Physiology 2011 Volume 157 Issue 1 Pages 229-241

Female-biased nectar production in the protandrous, hermaphroditic shrub Salvia hierosolymitana (Lamiaceae)

Y. Leshem; T. Keasar; A. Shmida
Australian Journal of Botany 2011 Volume 59 Issue 1 Pages 18-25

Reduced expression of the v-SNAREs AtVAMP71/AtVAMP7C gene family in Arabidopsis reduces drought tolerance by suppression of abscisic acid-dependent stomatal closure

Y. Leshem; Y. Golani; Y. Kaye; A. Levine
Journal of Experimental Botany 2010 Volume 61 Issue 10 Pages 2615-2622

Induction of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-mediated endocytosis by salt stress leads to intracellular production of reactive oxygen species and salt tolerance

Y. Leshem; L. Seri; A. Levine
Plant Journal 2007 Volume 51 Issue 2 Pages 185-197

Intracellular ROS: What does it do there?

Y. Leshem; A. Levine
Plant Signaling and Behavior 2007 Volume 2 Issue 3 Pages 155-156

Suppression of Arabidopsis vesicle-SNARE expression inhibited fusion of H2O2-containing vesicles with tonoplast and increased salt tolerance

Y. Leshem; N. Melamed-Book; O. Cagnac; G. Ronen; Y. Nishri; M. Solomon; G. Cohen; A. Levine
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2006 Volume 103 Issue 47 Pages 18008-18013

Induction of Salt and Osmotic Stress Tolerance by Overexpression of an Intracellular Vesicle Trafficking Protein AtRab7 (AtRabG3e)

A. Mazel; Y. Leshem; B. S. Tiwari; A. Levine
Plant Physiology 2004 Volume 134 Issue 1 Pages 118-128

Fruit cracking in Cereus peruvianus, a new cactus crop

Y. Leshem; A. Nerd; Y. Mizrahi
Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 2003 Volume 78 Issue 3 Pages 426-431

Effect of stress nitric oxide (NO): Interaction between chlorophyll fluorescence, galactolipid fluidity and lipoxygenase activity

Y. Y. Leshem; E. Haramaty; D. Iluz; Z. Malik; Y. Sofer; L. Roitman; Y. Leshem
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 1997 Volume 35 Issue 7 Pages 573-579