Prof. Shmuel Wolf

Research Fields and Interests

Although plants do not have a central sensing and distribution system, communication between cells and tissues is evident. This communication system is essential for orchestrated development of distant organs and responses to developmental and environmental cues. For example, signaling between the root, which takes up water and micronutrients, and the photosynthetic shoot system is essential to ensure proper allocation of resources and coordinated adaptation to local growth conditions. Changes in day length that are sensed in leaves lead to the decision to flower in the remote shoot apex. An important component of coordinated growth behavior must therefore be the transmission of information over long distances. Systemic signals inform remote organs to adapt their growth to environmental cues.


The plant vascular system is composed of two distinct tissues; the xylem and the phloem. The xylem serves to conduct water, minerals and growth substances from the roots to the above ground plant tissues. The phloem system delivers photoassimilates and amino acids from photosynthetically active leaves (sources) to various heterotrophic sink organs such as roots and flowers, fruits or seeds. It is now evident that in addition to sugars and nutrients, the phloem also transfers a distinct population of RNA molecules and proteins to distant organs. Grafting experiments have established that a number of these macromolecules are capable of moving long distances into distinct plant parts, thus providing support for the operation of a phloem-mediated inter-organ communication network.

The major goal of our research is to decipher the long-range communication code in plants. Specifically, we study the biological role of long-distance trafficking macromolecules and how environmental cues affect signal translocation between remote organs.


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Positions at Hebrew University

Major Functions/Tasks at the Hebrew University

1999 - 2003 Head - Department of Field Crops, Vegetables and Genetics,
Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences,
Rehovot, Israel.
2001 - 2002 Director - the Otto Warburg Minerva Center
for Agricultural Biotechnology.
2002 (Oct) - 2003 (Mar)  Head - The Robert H. Smith Institute of
Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture.
2003 - 2009 Director - the Otto Warburg Minerva Center
for Agricultural Biotechnology
2005-2006 Chairman of the Faculty Research Committee.
2006-2008 Chairman of the Departmental Screening Committee
Plant Sciences/Plant Protection.
2008 - 2012 Vice Dean for Research,
The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
2013 - 2017 Dean,
The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agriculture, Food and Environment.


See also: Shmuel_Wolf

Selected Publications

Spiegelman Z., S. Omer, B.N. Mansfeld and S. Wolf (2017). Function of Cyclophilin1 as a long-distance signal molecule in the phloem of tomato plants. J. Exp. Bot.  68:953-964.

Shilo T, L. Zygier, B. Rubin, S. Wolf and H. Eizenberg (2016). Mechanism of Glyphosate Control of Phelipanche Aegyptiaca, Planta 244: 1095-1107.

Spiegelman Z., B-K. Ham, Z. Zhang, T.W. Toal, S.M. Brady, Y. Zheng, Z. Fei, W.J. Lucas and S. Wolf (2015). A tomato phloem-mobile protein regulates the shoot-to-root ratio by mediating the auxin response in distant organs. Plant J. 83:853-863.

Spiegelman Z., G. Golan and S. Wolf (2013). Don't kill the messenger: Long-distance trafficking of mRNA molecules. Plant Sci. 213:1-8.

Golan G., R. Betzer and S. Wolf (2013). Phloem-specific expression of a melonAux/IAA in tomato plants alters auxin sensitivity and plant development. Front. Plant Sci., 23 August 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00329.

Gil, L., J. Ben-Ari, R. Turgeon and S. Wolf (2012) Effect of CMV infection and high temperatures on the enzymes involved in raffinose family oligosaccharide biosynthesis in melon plants. J. Plant Physiol. 169:965-970.

Gil, L., I. Yaron, D. Shalitin, N. Sauer, R. Turgeon and S. Wolf (2011). Sucrose transporter plays a role in phloem loading in CMV-infected melon plants that are defined as symplastic loaders. Plant J. 66:366-374.

Nashilevitz, S., C. Melamed-Bessudo,  Y. Izkovich, I. Rogachev, S. Osorio-Algar, M. Itkin, A. Adato, I. Pankratov, J. Hirschberg, A. Fernie, S. Wolf, B. Usadel, A.A. Levy, D. Rumeau and A. Aharoni (2010). An orange ripening mutant links plastid NAD(P)H dehydrogenase complex activity to central and specialized metabolism during tomato fruit maturation. Plant Cell, 22:1977-1997.

Yativ, M., I. Harary, and S. Wolf (2010). Sucrose accumulation in watermelon fruits: Genetic variation and biochemical analysis. J. Plant Physiol. 167:589-596.

Turgeon, R. and S. Wolf (2009). Phloem transport: Cellular pathways and molecular trafficking. Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. 60:207-221.

Nashilevitz, S, C. Melamed-Bessudo, A. Aharoni, J. Kossmann, S. Wolf and, A.A. Levy (2009). The legwd mutant uncovers the role of starch phosphorylation in pollen development and germination in tomato. Plant J. 57:1-13.

Omid, A., T. Keilin,  A. Glass,  D. Leshkowitz and S. Wolf (2007). Characterization of phloem-sap transcription profile in melon plants. J. Exp. Bot. 58:3645-3656.

Belotserkovsky, H., Y. Berger, R. Shahar and S. Wolf (2007). Specific role of LeMAN2 in the control of seed germination exposed by overexpression of the LeMAN3 gene in tomato plants. Planta 227:199-209.

Peleg, G., D. Malter and S. Wolf (2007). Viral infection enables phloem loading of GFP and long-distance trafficking of the protein. Plant J. 51:165-172. 

Weiss, Y., B. Rubin, A. Shulman, I. Ben Shir, E. Keinan and S. Wolf (2006). Determination of plant resistance to herbicidal compounds inhibiting cell division and early growth by seed and plantlets bioassays. Nature Protocols 1:2282-2287.

Weiss, Y., A. Shulman, I. Ben Shir, E. Keinan and S. Wolf (2006). Herbicide-resistance conferred by expression of a catalytic antibody in Arabidopsis thaliana. Nature Biotechnol. 24:713-717.

Nadler-Hassar, T., A. Goldshmidt, B. Rubin and S. Wolf (2004). Glyphosate inhibits the translocation of green fluorescent protein and sucrose from a transgenic tobacco host to Cuscuta campestris Yunk. Planta 219:790-796.

Complainville, A., L. Brocard, I. Roberts, E. Dax, N. Sever, N. Sauer, A. Kondorosi, S. Wolf, K. Oparka and M. Crespi (2003). Nodule initiation involves the creation of a new symplasmic field in specific roots cells of Medicago species. Plant Cell 15:2778-2791. 

Shalitin, D., Y. Wang, A. Omid, A. Gal-On and S. Wolf (2002). Cucumber mosaic virus movement protein affects sugar metabolism and transport in tobacco and melon plants. Plant Cell Environ. 25:989-998 (COVER PHOTO).

Hofius, D., K. Herbers, M. Melzer, A. Omid, E. Tacke, S. Wolf and U Sonnewald (2001). Evidence for expression level-dependent modulation of carbohydrate status and viral resistance by the potato leafroll virus movement protein in transgenic tobacco plants. Plant J. 28:529-543.

Shalitin, D. and S. Wolf (2000). Cucumber mosaic virus infection affects sugar transport in melon plants. Plant Physiol. 123:597-604. 

Wolf, S. and A. Millatiner (1999). Effect of tobacco mosaic virus movement protein on photosynthesis in transgenic tobacco plants. J. Plant Physiol. 156:253-258.

Almon, E., M. Horowitz, H-L. Wang, W.J. Lucas, E. Zamski and S. Wolf (1997). Phloem-specific expression of TMV-MP alters carbon metabolism and partitioning in transgenic potato plants. Plant Physiol. 115:1599-1607.

Olesinski, A.A., E. Almon, N. Navot, A. Perl, E. Galun, W.J. Lucas and S. Wolf (1996). Tissue-specific expression of the tobacco mosaic virus movement protein in transgenic potato plants alters plasmodesmal function and carbohydrate partitioning, Plant Physiol. 111:541-550.

Wolf, S. and W.J. Lucas (1994). Virus movement protein and other molecular probes of plasmodesmatal function. Plant Cell Environ. 17:573-585.

Lucas, W.J. and S. Wolf (1993). Plasmodesmata: the intercellular organelle of green plants. Trends Cell Biol. 3:308-315.

Wolf, S., C.M. Deom, R.N. Beachy and W.J. Lucas (1991). Plasmodesmatal functioning is probed using transgenic tobacco plants that express a virus movement protein. Plant Cell 3: 593-604. (COVER PHOTO).

Wolf, S., C.M. Deom, R.N. Beachy and W.J. Lucas (1989). Movement protein of tobacco mosaic virus modifies plasmodesmatal size exclusion limit. Science 246:377-379.



Wolf, S. et al. (2004) "Watermelon varieties having altered sugar ratios". Patent application No. PCT/IL2004/000122


See also: Shmuel_Wolf

Current Team

Avishag Atar
Avishag Atar

Or Broshi
Or Broshi

noga glanz idan
Noga Glanz Idan

Michael Lach
Michael Lach

lab 2018


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Past and Present Students



Post-Doctoral Fellows:

Einat Brill-Almon  
Shlomo Pleban  
Fouad Akad  
Orit Levius orit_levius
Sumita Omer  

Ph. D Students

Amnon Olesinski  
Ayelet Omid  
Dana Guenoune  
Dror Shalitin  
Guohua Xu  
Lidor Gil lodor gil
Noga Glanz-Idan noga glanz idan
Sagit Meir  
Shai Nashilevitz  
Sivan Shoshani  
Sridharan Jagadeesan  
Tal Shilo-Naamat tal-shilo
Ziv Spiegelman ziv_spiegelman

M.Sc. Students

Abraham Shwartz  
Adi Glass  
Ahihud Danin  
Alexander Goldshmidt  
Alon Hoechster  
Amit Shahar  
Amitai Lavi  
Anne Meron-Braunstein  
Arie Millatiner  
Asaf Distelfeld  
Asaf Meiri Asaf Meiri
Avi Gabai  
Avishag Atar Avishag Atar
Avishag Levi  
Ayelet Bar-Akiva  
Bar Mayorchik  
Benjamine Gamliel  
Carmel Gutman  
Denise Duclose  
Dikla Malter  
Dorit Fink  
Efrat Kaisler  
Gadi Peleg  
Guy Golan guy golan
Hamutal Bar  
Harel Belotserkovsky  
Idan Harari  
Imry Yaron  
Inbal Jona (Yassur)  
Liam Sciamas  
Liat Safra-Dassa  
Maayan Geva  
Merav Winstain (Yativ)  
Michael Lach  
Miri Horowitz-Oved  
Naama Teboul naama-teboul
Nan Sani Flaubert  
Neta Kalman-Rotem  
Noa Sever  
Or Broshi Or Broshi
Ravit Negri  
Roei Yonai  
Rotem Betzer rotem_betzer
Shai Leviatov  
Tamar Guy  
Tsufit Goldman-Guez  
Tzlil Shatz  
Yael Berger  
Yael Mahler-Slasky  
Yael Weiss  
Yaron Drori  
Yossi Arazi Z”l  
See also: Shmuel_Wolf

Photo Gallery

See also: Shmuel_Wolf