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Shahal Abbo Shahal Abbo

Tel: 972-8-9489443

Fax: 972-8-9489899

E-mail: shahal.abbo@mail.huji.ac.il






Research Interest

Crop evolution in the Near East.

Genetics and breeding of chickpea.

Chickpea evolution and genetics of yield components

Study of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genetics and evolution, and their bearing on grain yield. Unlike the major grain crops of the Mediterranean region (wheat, barley) which retained their natural cycle of autumn germination and late spring maturation, thereby exploiting winter rainfall, chickpea was made into a spring-sown crop, probably soon after its domestication. This change in the plant cycle fixed certain traits in the domesticated genepool.

  • Inherent day-length sensitivity - a trait that delays flowering to the late spring, exposing the crop to drought, which severely restricts yield.
  • Inherent requirements of high temperature for the reproductive process, preventing fruitful podding of early flowering material during the early spring.
  • High susceptibility to Ascochyta blight, an air-borne fungal disease that spreads during the winter and can cause total yields losses.

The major activities in my laboratory involve genetic analyses of chickpea response to ascochyta blight, the study of the relationship between major flowering genes and grain yield and study of the domestication traits of chickpea.

Nutritional quality characters of chickpea

Chickpea seed contains 0.1-0.26 g Ca per 100 g dry seed. Calcium, an important nutrient for humans, is deposited in the chickpea seed via diffusion through the pod wall to the testa. Hence, smaller seed will contain more Ca per unit of dry weight than larger seed. Since seed size is a major price determinant, data on the relationship between Ca content and seed size are extremely important. This work, in collaboration with Dr. R. Reifen (Hebrew University) and Dr. M. Grusak (USDA, TX, USA), point to the existence of factors other than seed size in determining Ca content in chickpea. We are also studying the genetics of carotenoids content in chickpea seed.

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Selected Publications

ביות הצמחים וראשית החקלאות New Book by Avi Gopher and Shahal Abbo
Plant Domestication and the Origins of Agriculture in The Near East
ספר חדש מאת אבי גופר ושחל עבו
ביות הצמחים וראשית החקלאות במזרח הקרוב

  1. Abbo S, E Millet E, Pinthus MJ (1987) Genetically controlled differences in the effects of chlormequat on tetraploid wheat (Triticum turgidum). Plant Growth Regulation 5: 235-239.
  2. Abbo S, Ladizinsky G (1991) Anatomical aspects of hybrid embryo abortion in the genus Lens L. Botanical Gazette 152: 316-320. pdf
  3. Abbo S, Miller TE, King IP (1993) Primer-induced in situ hybridization to plant chromosomes. Genome 36: 815-817.
  4. Abbo S, Dunford R P, Miller T E, Reader S M, King I P (1993) Primer-mediated in situ detection of the B-hordein gene cluster on barley chromosome 1H. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 90: 11821-11824. pdf
  5. Abbo S, Ladizinsky G (1994) Genetical aspects of hybrid embryo abortion in the genus Lens L. Heredity 72: 193-200. pdf
  6. Abbo S, Miller TE, Reader S M, Dunford RP, King IP (1994) Detection of ribosomal DNA sites in lentil and chickpea by fluorescent in-situ hybridization. Genome 37: 713-716.
  7. Abbo S, Dunford RP, Miller TE, Reader SM, Foote T, Flavell RB, Moore G (1995) Organization of retro-elements and stem-loop repeat families in the genomes and nuclei of cereals. Chromosome Research 3: 5-15.
  8. Lev-Yadun S, Beharav A, Abbo S (1996) Evidence for polygenic control of fiber differentiation in spring wheat and its relationship with the GA-insensitivity locus Rht1. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 23: 185-189. pdf
  9. Liu B, Segal G, Vega JM, Feldman M, Abbo S (1997) Isolation and characterization of chromosome-specific DNA sequences from a chromosome-arm genomic library of common wheat. Plant Journal 11: 959-965. pdf
  10. Or E, Hovav R, Abbo S (1999) A major gene for flowering time in chickpea. Crop Science 39: 315-322. pdf
  11. Lev-Yadun S, Beharav A, Di-nur R, Abbo S (1999) Gibberellic acid (GA) increases fibre cell differentiation and secondary cell-wall deposition in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) culms. Plant Growth Regulation 27: 161-165. pdf
  12. Lev-Yadun S, Abbo S (1999) Traditional utilization of A’kub (Gundelia tournefortii, Asteraceae) in Israel and the Palestinian Authority area. Economic Botany 53: 217-223. pdf
  13. Abbo S, Rubin B (2000) Transgenic crops: A cautionary tale. Science 287: 1927-1928. Link
  14. Lev-Yadun S, Gopher A, Abbo S (2000) The cradle of agriculture. Science 288: 1602-1603. Link. pdf
  15. Abbo S, Grusak M, Tzuk T, Reifen R (2000) The relationship between seed size and calcium concentration in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) seed. Plant Breeding 119: 427-431. pdf
  16. Kumar J, Abbo S (2000) Genetics of flowering time in chickpea and its bearing on productivity in semiarid environments. Advances in Agronomy 72: 107-138. pdf
  17. Abbo S, Lev-Yadun S, Ladizinsky G (2001) Tracing the wild genetic stocks of crop plants. Genome 44: 309-310. pdf
  18. Gopher A, Abbo S, Lev-Yadun S (2001) The "When", the "Where" and the "Why" of the Neolithic Revolution in the Levant. Documenta Praehistorica XXVIII: 49-62. pdf
  19. Lichtenzveig J, Shtienberg D, Zhang HB, Bonfil DJ, Abbo S (2002) Biometric analyses of the inheritance of resistance to Dydimella rabiei in chickpea. Phytopathology 92: 417-423. pdf
  20. Abbo S, Lev-Yadun S, Galwey N (2002) Vernalization response of wild chickpea. New Phytologist 154: 695-701. pdf
  21. Abbo S, Shtienberg D, Lichtenzveig J, Lev-Yadun S, Gopher A (2003) Chickpea, summer cropping, and a new model for pulse domestication in the ancient Near-East. Quarterly Review of Biology 78: 435-448. pdf
  22. Hovav R, Upadhyaya K C, Beharav A, Abbo S (2003) Major flowering time gene and polygenes effects on chickpea grain weight. Plant Breeding 122: 539-541. pdf
  23. Abbo S, Berger J, Turner NC (2003) Evolution of cultivated chickpea: four bottlenecks limit diversity and constrain adaptation. Functional Plant Biology 30: 1081-1087. pdf
  24. Lichtenzveig J, Scheuring C, Dodge J, Abbo S, Zhang HB (2005) Construction of BAC and BIBAC libraries and their applications for generation of SSR markers for genome analysis of chickpea, Cicer arietinum L. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 110: 492-510. pdf
  25. Abbo S, Molina C, Jungmann R, Grusak MA, Berkovitch Z, Reifen Ruth, Kahl G, Winter P, Reifen R (2005) QTL governing carotenoid concentration and weight in seeds of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics 111: 185-195. pdf
  26. Abbo S, Lev-Yadun S, Rubin B, Gopher A (2005) On the origin of Near Eastern founder crops and the "dump-heap hypothesis". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 52: 491-495. pdf
  27. Ben David R, Abbo S (2005) Phenological variation among Israeli populations of Cicer judaicum Boiss. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 56: 1219-1225. pdf
  28. Ben David R, Can C, Lev-Yadun S, Abbo S (2006) Ecogeography and demography of Cicer judaicum, a wild annual relative of domesticated chickpea. Crop Science 46: 1360-1370. pdf
  29. Bonfil DJ, Lichtenzveig J, Shai I, Lerner A, Tam S, Abbo S (2006) Associations between earliness, Ascochyta response and grain yield in chickpea. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 57: 465-470. pdf
  30. Abbo S, Gopher A, Peleg Z, Saranga Y, Fahima T, Salamini F, Lev-Yadun S (2006) The ripples of "The Big (agricultural) Bang": the spread of early wheat cultivation. Genome 49: 861-863. pdf
  31. Lev-Yadun S, Gopher A, Abbo S (2006) How and when was wild wheat domesticated? Science 313: 296. pdf
  32. Lichtenzveig J, Bonfil DJ, Zhang HB, Shtienberg D, Abbo S (2006) Mapping quantitative trait loci affecting time to flowering and response to Ascochyta blight in chickpea. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 113: 1357-1369. pdf
  33. Kerem Z, Gopher A, Lev-Yadun S, Weinberg P, Abbo S (2007) Chickpea domestication in the Neolithic Levant through the nutritional perspective. Journal of Archaeological Science 34: 1289-1293. pdf
  34. Frenkel O, Shtienberg D, Abbo S, Sherman A (2007) The sympatric Ascochyta complex of wild Cicer judaicum and domesticated chickpea. Plant Pathology 56: 464-471. pdf
  35. Bonfil DJ, Goren O, Mufradi I, Lichtenzveig J, Abbo S (2007) Development of early flowering kabuli chickpea with regular and simple leaves. Plant Breeding 126: 125-129. pdf
  36. Abbo S, Frenkel O, Sherman A, Shtienberg D (2007) The sympatric Ascochyta pathosystems of Near Eastern legumes, a key for better understanding of pathogen biology. European Journal of Plant Pathology 119: 111-118. pdf
  37. Abbo S, Zezak I, Schwartz E, Lev-Yadun S, Gopher A (2008) Experimental harvest of wild pea in Israel: implications for the origin of Near Eastern farming. Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 922-929. pdf
  38. Frenkel O, Sherman A, Abbo S, Shtienberg D (2008) Differential aggressiveness among Didymella rabiei isolates originated from domesticated chickpea and sympatric wild Cicer judaicum. Phytopathology 98: 600-608. pdf
  39. Abbo S, Saranga Y, Peleg Z, Lev-Yadun S, Kerem Z, Gopher A (2009) Reconsidering domestication of legumes versus cereals in the ancient Near East. The Quarterly Review of Biology 84: 29-50. pdf
  40. Abbo S, Lev-Yadun S, Gopher A (2010) Yield stability: an agronomic perspective on the origin of Near Eastern agriculture. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 19: 143-150. pdf
  41. Abbo S, Lev-Yadun S, Gopher A (2010) Agricultural origins: centers and noncenters; a Near Eastern reappraisal. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 29: 317-328. pdf
  42. Ben-David R, Abbo S, Berger JD (2010) Stress gradients select for ecotype formation in Cicer judaicum Boiss., a wild relative of domesticated chickpea. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 57: 193-202. pdf
  43. Frenkel O, Peever TL, Chilvers MI, Özkilinc H, Can C, Abbo S, Shtienberg D, Sherman A (2010) Ecological genetic divergence of the fungal pathogen Didymella rabiei on sympatric wild and domesticated Cicer spp. (chickpea). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76: 30-39. pdf
  44. Özkilinc H, Frenkel O, Abbo S, Eshed R, Sherman A, R Ophir, Shtienberg D, Can C (2010) A comparative study of Turkish and Israeli populations of Didymella rabiei, the ascochyta pathogen of chickpea. Plant Pathology 59: 492-503. pdf
  45. Abbo S, Bonfil DJ, Kerem Z, Berkovitch Z, Reifen R (2010) Towards enhancing lutein concentration in chickpea, cultivar and management effects. Plant Breeding 129: 407-411. pdf
  46. Zhang X, Scheuring CF, Zhang MP, Dong JJ, Zhang Y, Huang JJ, Lee M-K, Abbo S, Sherman A, Shtienberg D, Chen W, Muehlbauer F, Zhang H-B (2010) A BAC/BIBAC-based physical map of chickpea, Cicer arietinum L. BMC Genomics 11: 501. pdf
  47. Shahal Abbo, Simcha Lev-Yadun, and Avi Gopher (2012) Plant Domestication and Crop Evolution in the Near East: On Events and Processes Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 31:3, 241-257 pdf
  48. Shahal Abbo, Ruth Pinhasi van-Oss, Avi Gopher, Yehoshua Saranga, Itai Ofner, and Zvi Peleg (2014) Plant domestication versus crop evolution: a conceptual framework for cereals and grain legumes Trends in Plant Science DOI:10.1016/j.tplants.2013.12.002 pdf
  49. Ruth van Oss, Shahal Abbo, Ravit Eshed , Amir Sherman, Clarice J. Coyne, George J. Vandemark, Hong-Bin Zhang, Zvi Peleg (2015) Genetic Relationship in Cicer Sp. Expose Evidence for Geneflow between the Cultigen and Its Wild Progenitor PLOS ONE DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0139789 pdf

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