Yaacov Okon, Ph.D.


Contact Details:

Phone: +972 8 9489216
Fax: +972 8 9466794
E-mail: yaacov.okon@mail.huji.ac.il


Research Interests:

Biological nitrogen fixation and plant promoting effects in associations between rhizophere bacteria and roots of grasses, legumes and vegetables. Biological nitrogen fixation in the Rhizobium legume symbiosis and bacterial diseases of plants.

Research Projects:

Improvement of nodulation, nitrogen fixation, water uptake and yield of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and fava beans (Vicia faba). Funding: CRB Foundation 1996-2000

Extracellular factors involved in the aggregation of the N2-fixing rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense. Funding: ISF. 1998-2001

The regulation of the synthesis and degradation of the reserve material poly-β-hydroxybutyrate in Azospirillum brasilense. Funding: EU - 5th Framework. 2001-2003.

Molecular microbial ecology of populations in the rhizosphere: A study of cereals inoculated with Azosprillum brasilense. Funding: GIF; EU - 5th Framework. 2001-2003

Arabinose-rich exopolysaccharides (EPS) in Azospirillum brasilense. Funding: ISF (2005-2009).

Post-doc. Scholars:

Susana Castro-Sowinski

Angel Valverde-Portal

Present students

Hila Kramer-Haimovich PhD student

Anat Lerner PhD student

Sharon Fibach PhD student

Anat Shtarker MSc student

Selected Publications:

Bahat-Samet E., Castro-Sowinski, S and Okon, Y. 2004.Arabinose content of extracellular polysaccharide plays a role in cell aggregation of Azospirillum brasilense. FEMS Microbiology Letters 237:195-203.

Kadouri, D., Castro-Sowinski, S., Jurkevitch, E. and Okon, Y. 2005. Ecological and agricultural significance of bacterialpolyhydroxyalkanoates. Critical Reviews in Microbiology 31:55-67.

Okon, Y. 2005. PGPR-technology cases of application and futureprospects. In Rhizosphere 2004-Perspectives and Challenges. A Tribute to Lorenz Hiltner. Hartmann, A., Schmid, M., Wenzel, W. and Hisinger, Ph. (eds.). GSF, Neuherberg pp 273-274.

Dobbelaere, S. and Okon, Y. 2005. The plant growth promoting effects and plant responses. In Nitrogen Fixation: Origins, Applications and Research Progress. Newton W. (Ed), Vol V: Associative and Endophytic Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria and Cyanobacterial Associations. C. Elmerich and W. E. Newton. (eds) Springer, Heidelberg in press.

Moenne-Loccoz, Y., Woo, S.L., Okon, Y., Bally R., Lorito, L., Lemanceau, P. and Hartmann, A. 2005. Chapter 5. Free-living plant-beneficial microorganisms and soil quality in Microbiological Methods for Assessing Soil Quality- Plant-Microbes Interactions and Soil Quality, Bloem S., Hopkins, D.W. and Bennedeti A. (eds). CABI Publishing p. 368.

Herschkovitz, Y., Lerner, A., Davidov, Y., Rothballer, M., Hartmann, A. Okon, Y. and Jurkevitch, E. 2005. Inoculation with the plant growth promoting rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense causes little disturbance in the rhizosphere and rhizoplane of maize (Zea mays). Microbial Ecology 50:277-288.

Herschkovitz, Y., Lerner, A., Davidov, Y., Okon, Y. and Jurkevitch, E. 2005. Azospirillum brasilense does not affect population structure of specific rhizobacterial communities of inoculated maize (Zea mays). Environmental Microbiology. 7:1847-1852.

Lerner, A., Herschkovitz, Y., Baudoin, E., Nazaret, S., Moenne-Loccoz, Y., Okon, Y., and Jurkevitch, E. 2006. Effect of Azospirillum brasilense on rhizobacterial communities analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and automated intergenic spacer analysis. Soil Biology and Biochemistry on line.

Lerner, A., Shor, Y., Vinokurov, A., Okon, Y. and Jurkevitch, E. 2006. Can denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of amplified 16S rDNA of soil bacterial populations be used in forensic investigations? Soil Biology and Biochemistry on line

Kramer-Haimovich, H., Servi, E., Katan, T., Rollins, J., Okon, Y. and Prusky, D. 2006. Effect of ammonia production by C. gloeosporioides on pelB activation, pectate lyase secretion and fruit pathogenicity. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. In press

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