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Mailing Address:
The Robert H. Smith Institute of
Plant Sciences and Genetics
in Agriculture
POB 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel

Administrator: Neomi Maimon 
Tel: 972-8-948-9251,
Fax: 972-8-948-9899,
E-mail: neomim@savion.huji.ac.il

Director: Prof. David Weiss
Tel: 972-8-948-9436
Fax: 972-8-948-9899
E-mail: david.weiss@mail.huji.ac.il

 

Publications

2020
Frankin, S. ; Kunta, S. ; Abbo, S. ; Sela, H. ; Goldberg, B. Z. ; Bonfil, D. J. ; Levy, A. A. ; Avivi-Ragolsky, N. ; Nashef, K. ; Roychowdhury, R. ; et al. The Israeli–Palestinian wheat landraces collection: restoration and characterization of lost genetic diversity. Journal of the Science of Food and AgricultureJournal of the Science of Food and AgricultureJ. Sci. Food Agric. 2020, 100, 4083 - 4092. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Abstract BACKGROUND For over a century, genetic diversity of wheat worldwide was eroded by continual selection for high yields and industrial demands. Wheat landraces cultivated in Israel and Palestine demonstrate high genetic diversity and a potentially wide repertoire of adaptive alleles. While most Israeli-Palestinian wheat landraces were lost in the transition to ?Green Revolution? semi-dwarf varieties, some germplasm collections made at the beginning of the 20th century survived in gene banks and private collections worldwide. However, fragmentation and poor conservation place this unique genetic resource at a high risk of genetic erosion. Herein, we describe a long-term initiative to restore, conserve, and characterize a collection of Israeli and Palestinian wheat landraces (IPLR). RESULTS We report on (i) the IPLR construction (n = 932), (ii) the historical and agronomic context to this collection, (iii) the characterization and assessment of the IPLR's genetic diversity, and (iv) a data comparison from two distinct subcollections within IPLR: a collection made by N. Vavilov in 1926 (IPLR-VIR) and a later one (1979?1981) made by Y. Mattatia (IPLR-M). Though conducted in the same eco-geographic space, these two collections were subjected to considerably different conservation pathways. IPLR-M, which underwent only one propagation cycle, demonstrated marked genetic and phenotypic variability (within and between accessions) in comparison with IPLR-VIR, which had been regularly regenerated over ?90?years. CONCLUSION We postulate that long-term ex?situ conservation involving human and genotype???environment selection may significantly reduce accession heterogeneity and allelic diversity. Results are further discussed in a broader context of pre-breeding and conservation. ? 2019 Society of Chemical Industry
Hellwig, T. ; Flor, A. ; Saranga, Y. ; Coyne, C. J. ; Main, D. ; Sherman, A. ; Ophir, R. ; Abbo, S. Environmental and genetic determinants of amphicarpy in Pisum fulvum, a wild relative of domesticated pea. Plant Science 2020, 298, 110566. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Pisum fulvum is an annual legume native to Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. In certain locations, P. fulvum individuals were documented to display a reproductive dimorphism – amphicarpy, with both above and below ground flowers and pods. Herein we aimed to study the possible role of soil texture on amphicarpy in P. fulvum, to investigate the possible bio-climatic associations of P. fulvum amphicarpy and to identify genetic markers associated with this phenotype. A set of 127 germplasm accessions sampled across the Israeli distribution range of the species was phenotyped in two common garden nurseries. Land use and bioclimatic data were used to delineate the eco-geographic clustering of accession's sampling sites. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were employed in genome-wide association study to identify associated loci. Amphicarpy was subject to strong experimental site x genotype interaction with higher phenotypic expression in fine textured soil relative to sandy loam. Amphicarpy was more prevalent among accessions sampled in eastern Judea and Samaria and was weakly associated with early phenology and relatively modest above ground biomass production. Twelve SNP markers were significantly associated with amphicarpy, each explaining between 8 and 12 % of the phenotypic variation. In P. fulvum amphicarpy seems to be a polygenetic trait controlled by an array of genes that is likely to be affected by environmental stimuli. The probable selective advantage of the association between amphicarpy and early flowering is in line with its relative prevalence in drought prone territories subject to heavy grazing.
2019
Mugabe, D. ; Coyne, C. J. ; Piaskowski, J. ; Zheng, P. ; Ma, Y. ; Landry, E. ; McGee, R. ; Main, D. ; Vandemark, G. ; Zhang, H. ; et al. Quantitative trait loci for cold tolerance in Chickpea. Crop Science 2019, 59, 573-582. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Fall-sown chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) yields are often double those of spring-sown chickpea in regions with Mediterranean climates that have mild winters. However, winter kill can limit the productivity of fall-sown chickpea. Developing cold-tolerant chickpea would allow the expansion of the current geographic range where chickpea is grown and also improve productivity. The objective of this study was to identify the quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with cold tolerance in chickpea. An interspecific recombinant inbred line population of 129 lines derived from a cross between ICC 4958, a cold-sensitive desi type (C. arietinum), and PI 489777, a coldtolerant wild relative (C. reticulatum Ladiz), was used in this study. The population was phenotyped for cold tolerance in the field over four field seasons (September 2011-March 2015) and under controlled conditions two times. The population was genotyped using genotypingby- sequencing, and an interspecific genetic linkage map consisting of 747 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, spanning a distance of 393.7 cM, was developed. Three significant QTL were found on linkage groups (LGs) 1B, 3, and 8. The QTL on LGs 3 and 8 were consistently detected in six environments with logarithm of odds score ranges of 5.16 to 15.11 and 5.68 to 23.96, respectively. The QTL CT Ca-3.1 explained 7.15 to 34.6% of the phenotypic variance in all environments, whereas QTL CT Ca-8.1 explained 11.5 to 48.4%. The QTLassociated SNP markers may become useful for breeding with further fine mapping for increasing cold tolerance in domestic chickpea. © Crop Science Society of America.
Frankin, S. ; Kunta, S. ; Abbo, S. ; Sela, H. ; Goldberg, B. Z. ; Bonfil, D. J. ; Levy, A. ; Avivi-Ragolsky, N. ; Nashef, K. ; Roychowdhury, R. ; et al. The Israeli Palestinian wheat landraces collection: restoration and characterization of lost genetic diversity. J Sci Food Agric 2019.Abstract
BACKGROUND: For over a century, genetic diversity of wheat worldwide was eroded by continual selection for high yields and industrial demands. Wheat landraces cultivated in Israel and Palestine demonstrate high genetic diversity and a potentially wide repertoire of adaptive alleles. While most Israeli-Palestinian wheat landraces were lost in the transition to "Green Revolution" semi-dwarf varieties, some germplasm collections made at the beginning of the 20 century survived in genebanks and private collections worldwide. However, fragmentation and poor conservation place this unique genetic resource at a high risk of genetic erosion. Herein we describe a long-term initiative to restore, conserve and characterize a collection of Israeli and Palestinian wheat landraces (IPLR). RESULTS: (i) a report on the IPLR construction (n=932).; (ii) an historical and agronomic context to this collection; (iii) characterize and assess IPLR's genetic diversity; and (iv) data comparison from two distinct sub-collections within IPLR: a collection made by N. Vavilov in 1926 (IPLR-VIR) and a later one (1979-1981) made by Y. Mattatia (IPLR-M). Though conducted in the same eco-geographic space, these two collections were subjected to considerably different conservation pathways. IPLR-M- which underwent only one propagation cycle- demonstrated marked genetic and phenotypic variability (within and between accessions) in comparison to IPLR-VIR which had been regularly regenerated over ~90 years. CONCLUSION: We postulate that long-term ex-situ conservation involving human and GxE selection may significantly reduce accession heterogeneity and allelic diversity. Results are further discussed in a broader context of pre-breeding and conservation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Curzon, A. Y. ; Chandrasekhar, K. ; Nashef, Y. K. ; Abbo, S. ; Bonfil, D. J. ; Reifen, R. ; Bar-El, S. ; Avneri, A. ; Ben-David, R. Distinguishing between Bread Wheat and Spelt Grains Using Molecular Markers and Spectroscopy. J Agric Food Chem 2019, 67, 3837-3841.Abstract
The increasing demand for spelt products requires the baking industry to develop accurate and efficient tools to differentiate between spelt and bread wheat grains. We subjected a 272-sample spelt-bread wheat set to several potential diagnostic methods. DNA markers for γ-gliadin-D ( GAG56D), γ-gliadin-B ( GAG56B), and the Q-gene were used, alongside phenotypic assessment of ease-of-threshing and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The GAG56B and GAG56D markers demonstrated low diagnostic power in comparison to the Q-gene genotyping, which showed full accordance with the threshing phenotype, providing a highly accurate distinction between bread wheat and spelt kernels. A highly reliable Q classification was based on a three-waveband NIR model [Kappa (0.97), R-square (0.93)], which suggested that this gene influences grain characteristics. Our data ruled out a protein concentration bias of the NIRS-based diagnosis. These findings highlight the Q gene and NIRS as important, valuable, but simple tools for distinguishing between bread wheat and spelt.
2018
van-Oss, R. P. ; Gopher, A. ; Kerem, Z. ; Peleg, Z. ; Lev-Yadun, S. ; Sherman, A. ; Zhang, H. - B. ; Vandemark, G. ; Coyne, C. J. ; Reany, O. ; et al. Independent selection for seed free tryptophan content and vernalization response in chickpea domestication. Plant Breeding 2018, 137, 290-300. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Abstract Chickpea shows a distinct domestication trajectory vis-a-vis pod dehiscence and growth cycle mediated by vernalization insensitivity compared with its companion Near Eastern legumes. Our objectives were: (i) to map the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with vernalization response and seed free tryptophan in domesticated × wild chickpea progeny and (ii) estimate the genetic correlation between vernalization response and free tryptophan content. A domesticated × wild chickpea cross was used to document phenotypic segregation in both traits and to construct a skeletal genetic map for QTL detection. A number of vernalization response and seed free tryptophan content QTLs were documented in both F2 and F3 generations. No significant genetic correlation between these two traits was observed. Epistatic relationship between two free tryptophan loci was documented. It is evident that selection for high seed tryptophan is easier to accomplish relative to selection for vernalization insensitivity. This suggests that the two traits were selected independently in antiquity, thereby corroborating earlier claims for conscious selection processes associated with chickpea domestication.
2017
Abbo, S. ; Gopher, A. ; Lev-Yadun, S. The Domestication of Crop Plants. In Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences (Second Edition); Thomas, B. ; Murray, B. G. ; Murphy, D. J., Ed. Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences (Second Edition); Academic Press: Oxford, 2017; pp. 50 - 54. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Food production economies based on domesticated plants and livestock is a relatively recent phenomenon in the human career. Packages of nutritionally and agronomically balanced crop plants evolved independently in several world regions including sub-Saharan Africa, Meso-America, North-east America, East Asia, and the Near East. The longest research tradition on the origins of agriculture concerning the Near East on which we elaborate. Geobotanical and ecological evidence on the wild progenitors in conjunction with archaeological and archaeobotanical data of the Near Eastern crop package species enable the reconstruction of this major event in the prehistory of humankind. The accumulated evidence from the Near East suggests a geographically focused/centered, and knowledge-based domestication of a suite of cereals and grain legume crops. Genetic and agronomic considerations enable to draw a distinction between the crucial traits underlying the domestication episode and traits that were selected for by farmers during the millennia following (under) domestication. This distinction is valuable for both reconstructing prehistoric events and for future crop improvement.
Naim-Feil, E. ; Toren, M. ; Aubert, G. ; Rubinstein, M. ; Rosen, A. ; Eshed, R. ; Sherman, A. ; Ophir, R. ; Saranga, Y. ; Abbo, S. Drought Response and Genetic Diversity in Pisum fulvum, a Wild Relative of Domesticated Pea. Crop Science 2017, 57, 1145 - 1159. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Productivity of grain crops in semi-arid environments is often affected by drought, which is likely to increase due to predicted climate changes. Wild pea (Pisum fulvum Sibth. & Smith, Pf) accessions sampled across its ecological amplitude in Israel (350–850 mm annual precipitation) were used to assess the genetic diversity for drought responses. We hypothesized that native species evolving under Eastern Mediterranean climate carry adaptive traits to cope with drought stress. Accessions were classified according to single-nucleotide polymorphism variation pattern and habitat ecogeographic parameters. Significant differences were found between the accession groups, but grouping in both systems did not match. Subsequently, 52 Pf accessions and three domesticated pea (P. sativum L.) genotypes were evaluated during 2 yr under well-watered (∼580 mm) and water-limited (∼340 mm) treatments. Total dry matter, grain yield, harvest index, and average grain weight were higher in domesticated pea than wild Pf; however several Pf accessions exhibited lower drought susceptibility indices (i.e., greater stability across environments) than domesticated genotypes. Of special interest are a number of Pf genotypes in which low susceptibility to water stress was coupled with relatively high productivity. The sampling habitats of those low susceptibility–high productivity accessions are characterized by mild (400–530 mm) annual precipitation. Further sampling and evaluation of Pf from such locations may improve our understanding of pea drought adaptation and yield physiology.
Bar-El Dadon, S. ; Abbo, S. ; Reifen, R. Leveraging traditional crops for better nutrition and health - The case of chickpea. Trends in Food Science & Technology 2017, 64, 39 - 47. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Background Adequate nutrition in early life is a prerequisite for human capital formation and economic development. Although poor feeding practices is a problem predominantly thought to exist in low-income and middle income countries, malnutrition is rapidly rising among developed nations as well. In this context, and in light of scarcity of protein sources, utilization of crops-such as chickpea-as a source of micro and macro nutrients is mandatory in the long route to nutritional improvement. Scope and approach In this review, we outline interesting features of the chickpea crop, in terms of its nutritional value and agronomic potential that may help combat several health issues in both Western countries as well as in many low income sectors in developing countries. Key Findings and Conclusions: On the global scale, chickpea consumption is steadily increasing in recent years. In developing countries, chickpea brings a variety of taste and texture to the cereal-based diet, as well as high-quality protein, fiber, carbohydrates and minerals, thereby ensuring a balanced diet and improving the nutritional status of the population. In developed countries, chickpea may be an ultimate source of protein for the increasing vegetarian/vegan populations. On top of that, allergenicity issues, content of phytoestrogens and more, are negligible in chickpea. For all these reasons, this crop should be considered as an outstanding source of protein, the ultimate alternative to soybeans, as well as the next health-food for human consumption.
Abbo, S. ; Gopher, A. Near Eastern Plant Domestication: A History of Thought. Trends in Plant Science 2017, 22, 491 - 511. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Agricultural Revolution and plant domestication in the Near East (among its components) have fascinated generations of scholars. Here, we narrate the history of ideas underlying plant domestication research since the late 19th century. Biological and cultural perspectives are presented through two prevailing models: one views plant domestication as a protracted, unconscious evolutionary mutualistic (noncentric) process. The second advocates a punctuated, knowledge-based human initiative (centric). We scrutinize the research landscape while assessing the underlying evolutionary and cultural mechanisms. A parsimony measure indicates that the punctuated-centric view better accords with archaeological records, and the geobotany and biology of the species, and requires fewer assumptions. The protracted alternative requires many assumptions, does not account for legume biology, fails to distinguish domestication from postdomestication changes, and, therefore, is less parsimonious.
2016
Abbo, S. ; Gopher, A. ; Lev-Yadun, S. The Domestication of Crop Plants; Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences; 2016; Vol. 3, pp. 50-54. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Food production economies based on domesticated plants and livestock is a relatively recent phenomenon in the human career. Packages of nutritionally and agronomically balanced crop plants evolved independently in several world regions including sub-Saharan Africa, Meso-America, North-east America, East Asia, and the Near East. The longest research tradition on the origins of agriculture concerning the Near East on which we elaborate. Geobotanical and ecological evidence on the wild progenitors in conjunction with archaeological and archaeobotanical data of the Near Eastern crop package species enable the reconstruction of this major event in the prehistory of humankind. The accumulated evidence from the Near East suggests a geographically focused/centered, and knowledge-based domestication of a suite of cereals and grain legume crops. Genetic and agronomic considerations enable to draw a distinction between the crucial traits underlying the domestication episode and traits that were selected for by farmers during the millennia following (under) domestication. This distinction is valuable for both reconstructing prehistoric events and for future crop improvement. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Pinhasi van-Oss, R. ; Sherman, A. ; Zhang, H. - B. ; Vandemark, G. ; Coyne, C. ; Abbo, S. Vernalization response of domesticated × wild chickpea progeny is subject to strong genotype by environment interaction. Plant BreedingPlant BreedingPlant Breed 2016, 135, 102 - 110. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Abstract Vernalization insensitivity is a key feature of domesticated chickpea, and its genetic basis is not well understood. We studied vernalization response among hybrid progeny derived from two domesticated ? wild crosses. The wild parents are vernalization-sensitive, late-flowering genotypes while both domesticated parents are vernalization insensitive. Parental lines and hybrid progeny were tested with (28 days at 4°C) and without vernalization (control). The difference in mean days to flower (?DTF) between control and vernalization treatments was used to assess the flowering vernalization response. A wide range of ?DTF values was observed among the hybrid progeny. Strong genotype by environment interaction effect on ?DTF was observed for the parental accessions and hybrid progeny. We used the ?DTF values to select vernalization responsive and non-responsive progeny lines. However, the genotype ? environment interaction strongly interfered with our selection. Chickpea breeders interested in using the wild progenitor as a donor of exotic traits should be aware of the possibility of introducing vernalization response alleles that may alter the phenology of their breeding materials in an unpredictable manner.
Golani, M. ; Frenkel, O. ; Bornstein, M. ; Shulhani, R. ; Abbo, S. ; Shtienberg, D. Prevalence, Development, and Significance of Ascochyta Blight Caused by Peyronellaea pinodes in Pisum elatius Populations Growing in Natural Ecosystems. Phytopathology™Phytopathology™ 2016, 106, 833 - 841. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Wild Pisum populations prevail in Israel in regions with diverse climatic conditions. A comprehensive survey was conducted in the winters of 2007?08 and 2008?09 at two sites in northern Israel, aiming to (i) document the density of Pisum elatius plants in natural ecosystems and elucidate factors related to their initial infection by Ascochyta blight and (ii) determine the factors governing disease development over time on individual plants. The surveyors identified P. elatius plants growing in designated quadrats, inspected each plant visually, and recorded the incidence and severity of its Ascochyta blight symptoms. Ascochyta blight, caused by Peyronellaea pinodes, was ubiquitous in Pisum elatius populations at both survey sites in both seasons. However, the total leaf area exhibiting disease symptoms of individual plants was very low, and stem and pod infections were rarely observed. Based on analyses of the survey data, it was suggested that, in natural ecosystems, the teleomorph stage of Peyronellaea pinodes serves as the main source of the primary and the secondary inoculum of the disease. In addition, it was found that infected leaves dropped off soon after infection, thereby precluding development of stem lesions. The plants continued growing and did not die; thus, they overcame the disease and could be considered ?cured?. This phenomenon was examined and confirmed in artificially inoculated, potted-plant experiments. It would be worthwhile to exploit the potential of this unique resistance mechanism as a tool for Ascochyta blight management in pea breeding.Wild Pisum populations prevail in Israel in regions with diverse climatic conditions. A comprehensive survey was conducted in the winters of 2007?08 and 2008?09 at two sites in northern Israel, aiming to (i) document the density of Pisum elatius plants in natural ecosystems and elucidate factors related to their initial infection by Ascochyta blight and (ii) determine the factors governing disease development over time on individual plants. The surveyors identified P. elatius plants growing in designated quadrats, inspected each plant visually, and recorded the incidence and severity of its Ascochyta blight symptoms. Ascochyta blight, caused by Peyronellaea pinodes, was ubiquitous in Pisum elatius populations at both survey sites in both seasons. However, the total leaf area exhibiting disease symptoms of individual plants was very low, and stem and pod infections were rarely observed. Based on analyses of the survey data, it was suggested that, in natural ecosystems, the teleomorph stage of Peyronellaea pinodes serves as the main source of the primary and the secondary inoculum of the disease. In addition, it was found that infected leaves dropped off soon after infection, thereby precluding development of stem lesions. The plants continued growing and did not die; thus, they overcame the disease and could be considered ?cured?. This phenomenon was examined and confirmed in artificially inoculated, potted-plant experiments. It would be worthwhile to exploit the potential of this unique resistance mechanism as a tool for Ascochyta blight management in pea breeding.
Golani, M. ; Abbo, S. ; Sherman, A. ; Frenkel, O. ; Shtienberg, D. The Temperature Response and Aggressiveness of Peyronellaea pinodes Isolates Originating from Wild and Domesticated Pisum sp. in Israel. Phytopathology™Phytopathology™ 2016, 106, 824 - 832. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Domesticated pea fields are grown in relatively close proximity to wild pea species in Israel. Despite the major role attributed to ascochyta blight in causing yield losses in domesticated pea, very limited information is available on the pathogens prevailing in natural ecosystems. The objectives of this study were (i) to identify the species causing ascochyta blight symptoms on leaves, stems, and petioles of domesticated pea and wild Pisum plants in Israel, and (ii) to quantify the temperature response(s) and aggressiveness of such pathogens originating from Pisum plants growing in sympatric and allopatric contexts. Eighteen fungal isolates were examined and identified; three of them were sampled from Pisum sativum, 11 from Pisum fulvum, and four from Pisum elatius. All isolates were identified as Peyronellaea pinodes. Spore germination and mycelial growth took place over a wide range of temperatures, the lower and upper cardinal temperatures being 2 to 9 and 33 to 38°C, respectively; the optimal temperatures ranged from 22 to 26°C. At an optimal temperature, disease severity was significantly higher for plants maintained under moist conditions for 24 h postinoculation than for those exposed to humidity for 5 or 10 h. Analyses of the data revealed that temperature responses, spore germination rates, and aggressiveness of isolates sampled from domesticated pea plants did not differ from those of isolates sampled from adjacent or distant wild populations. Host specificity was not observed. These observations suggest that Israel may be inhabited by a single metapopulation of P. pinodes.Domesticated pea fields are grown in relatively close proximity to wild pea species in Israel. Despite the major role attributed to ascochyta blight in causing yield losses in domesticated pea, very limited information is available on the pathogens prevailing in natural ecosystems. The objectives of this study were (i) to identify the species causing ascochyta blight symptoms on leaves, stems, and petioles of domesticated pea and wild Pisum plants in Israel, and (ii) to quantify the temperature response(s) and aggressiveness of such pathogens originating from Pisum plants growing in sympatric and allopatric contexts. Eighteen fungal isolates were examined and identified; three of them were sampled from Pisum sativum, 11 from Pisum fulvum, and four from Pisum elatius. All isolates were identified as Peyronellaea pinodes. Spore germination and mycelial growth took place over a wide range of temperatures, the lower and upper cardinal temperatures being 2 to 9 and 33 to 38°C, respectively; the optimal temperatures ranged from 22 to 26°C. At an optimal temperature, disease severity was significantly higher for plants maintained under moist conditions for 24 h postinoculation than for those exposed to humidity for 5 or 10 h. Analyses of the data revealed that temperature responses, spore germination rates, and aggressiveness of isolates sampled from domesticated pea plants did not differ from those of isolates sampled from adjacent or distant wild populations. Host specificity was not observed. These observations suggest that Israel may be inhabited by a single metapopulation of P. pinodes.
Abbo, S. ; א, גופר; ש, עבו. ביות הצמחים וראשית החקלאות במזרח הקרוב; רסלינג: תל אביב, 2016; pp. 346. Publisher's Versionתקציר

לפני כ-10,500 שנים, לאחר מאות אלפי שנים שבהן חיו בני אדם בקהילות קטנות, שויוניות ונוודיות, התפרנסו ממשאבי הטבע כלקטים-ציידים ואכלו את מה שמכונה בימינו "דיאטת פליאו", התרחשה באזורנו מהפכה – "המהפכה החקלאית" או "המהפכה הניאוליתית". היה זה שידוד מערכות תרבותי-חברתי-כלכלי מכונן בהיסטוריה האנושית שהוביל ליצירת חברות יושבות קבע של יצרני מזון, צומחות וגדלות בהיקפן, צפופות, מורכבות ומרובדות, שהולידו את התרבות המערבית.

קבוצת הצמחים שבוייתה והייתה למרכיביה של "חבילת הגידולים" הניאוליתית במזרח הקרוב כוללת את השעורה, שני מיני חיטה, האפוּן, העדשה, החִמצה (חומוס), בקיית הכרשינה וכן פִשתָה. רוב המינים האלו מספקים עד היום חלק ניכר מהתוצרת החקלאית המזינה את האדם וחיות המשק שלו. בעלי החיים שבויתו באותה מהפכה הם העז, הכבש, הבקר והחזיר, ומאוחר יותר בויתו עצי פרי – זית, גפן, תאנה, רימון ותמר. אי לכך, יש להכיר בעובדה שהמהפכה החקלאית אימצה אל סביבת החיים והחברה האנושית כבר לפני למעלה מ-10,000 שנים את מרכיבי התזונה הבולטים ביותר עד היום בחלקי עולם גדולים. המעבר לאורח חיים חקלאי דרש שינויים מרחיקי לכת בתפיסת העולם של האדם, כמו גם במבנה ובארגון החברתי, ואלו הובילו את החברה והתרבות האנושית במהרה אל המצב המודרני המוכר לנו כיום.

הספר שלפניכם בוחן את שאלות היסוד הנוגעות לביות הצמחים במזרח הקרוב; הוא מציג היבטים שונים של ביות הצמחים ושל היחסים החדשים בין האדם לצמחים, ובינו לבין הטבע בכלל בעקבות הביות. המחברים מעלים את הטענה שביות הצמחים היה מהלך מהיר שהתרחש במרכז אחד, בדרום מזרח תורכיה ובצפון סוריה, ושהוא היה מהלך מתוכנן ומבוסס ידע שבמסגרתו בוייתה חבילת גידולים מאוזנת מהבחינה החקלאית ומהבחינה התזונתית.

אבי גופר הוא ארכיאולוג מאוניברסיטת תל אביב החוקר מזה שנים את התקופה הניאוליתית ואת נושא ראשית החקלאות באזורנו. שחל עבו הוא אגרונום מהפקולטה לחקלאות של האוניברסיטה העברית אשר עוסק מזה שנים בגידולי תבואות, בעיקר בחִמצה (חומוס). 

 

2015
Ladizinsky, G. ; Abbo, S. The Search for Wild Relatives of Cool Season Legumes; Springer International Publishing, 2015; pp. 103. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Brings together research findings that have been accumulated during the last 40 years, mainly by the authors, on wild relatives of cool season legumes

Indicates the wild relatives of lentil, chickpea, common and bitter vetch that can be exploited for breeding

Presents biological evidence that pulse domestication proceeded in a unique course, already in the wild

The study of origin and domestication of legumes described in this book emerged when it became apparent that while this kind of information is adequate for cereals, the pulses lagged behind. At the end of the 1960s the senior author initiated a study on the chickpea's wild relatives followed by similar attempts for broad bean, fenugreek, common vetch, bitter vetch, and lentil. The junior author joined the project in the late 1980s with a study of the genetics of interspecific hybrid embryo abortion in lentil and later has extensively investigated chickpea domestication and wild peas. While this book mainly describes our research findings, pertinent results obtained by others are also discussed and evaluated. Studying the wild relatives of legumes included evaluation of their taxonomic status, their morphological variation, ecological requirements, exploration of their distribution, and seed collection in their natural habitats. Seeds were examined for their protein profile as preliminary hints of their affinity to the cultigens and plants grown from these seeds were used for establishing their karyotype, producing intra- and interspecific hybrids and analyses of their chromosome pairing at meiosis and fertility. The aim of these investigations was the identification of the potential wild gene pool of the domesticated forms. Assessment of genetic variation among accessions, particularly in the genus Lens, was made by isozymes and chloroplast DNA studies. The main findings include the discovery of the chickpea wild progenitor; studies of lentil in three crossability groups; wild peas proceeded in two lines of study; faba bean and fenugreek and their wild progenitors have not yet been identified; common vetch and its related form were treated here as an aggregate (A. sativa); we found gene flow between members of different karyotypes is possible; bitter vetch and its relation to the domesticated form were established by breeding experiments.

Peleg, Z. ; Shabtay, A. ; Abbo, S. Allelic diversity between and within three wild annual Cicer species. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 2015, 62, 177-188. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Most wild Cicer species have narrow eco-geographic amplitude. Likewise, domesticated chickpea suffers from severe adaptive limitations due to its unique evolutionary history. The wild progenitor may offer only limited adaptive allelic variation for improving the chickpea crop. Therefore, there is a need to explore allelic diversity between and within annual Cicer sp. that span diverse natural habitats. Here we characterized the allelic diversity between and within wild populations of C. pinnatifidum, C. judaicum and C. cuneatum spanning most of their documented native range in Turkey, Israel and Ethiopia. Eco-geographical analysis resulted in clear separation between the collection sites of C. cuneatum in east Africa and the other two east Mediterranean species. Analysis of molecular variance shows that only 18 % of the allelic variation accounts for differences between the three species, while 34 % was contributed from difference between populations. Interestingly, most (48 %) of the allelic variation was detected among accessions within populations. PCoA analysis confirmed the independent taxonomic and indeed the genetic integrity of the two east Mediterranean sister species C. pinnatifidum and C. judaicum. Conservation of large rich populations seems a more effective strategy than the preservation of small thin populations of annual Cicer sp. Given the relatively narrow geographic range of most annual Cicer sp., accessing germplasm lines from ecologically distinct habitats emerges as the most promising strategy for the identification of useful adaptive allelic variation. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Abbo, S. ; Gopher, A. ; Lev-Yadun, S. Fruit Domestication in the Near East. Plant Breeding Reviews 2015, 39, 325-378. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Following the emergence of farming societies in the Neolithic Near East, a number of fruit trees were domesticated and became an integral part of the mixed farming economy of the region. These include emblematic crops such as olive, grape vine, date palm, fig, and pomegranate, as well as almond and carob. Unlike the Near Eastern founder grain crops that are thought to have originated in a relatively small “core area” and spread from there as a harmonic agro-economic package, Near Eastern fruit trees were adopted from several geographically remote and ecologically distinct areas: olive and carob in the east Mediterranean, grape vine and fig in the trans-Caucasus, pomegranate and almond in central Asia, and date palm in lower Mesopotamia. Following domestication, and owing to their reproductive biology (open pollination), extensive (bidirectional) domesticated–wild gene flow is thought to have had a major role in the emergence of new cultivars and in shaping the adaptation pattern of these species both under domestication and in nature. The reproductive biology and growth pattern of these fruit trees suggest that conscious (rather than unconscious) selection played a major role in the adoption of these taxa from the wild, in the development of special agro-techniques required to ensure sustainable production, and in developing methods for processing and long-term preservation of the fruit yield. Some authors see a phenotypic continuum between a wild erratic fruit yield pattern (often masting), alternate bearing, and a regular fruiting pattern typical of some domesticated trees, but we consider masting behavior and alternate bearing as two distinct developmental phenomena, probably controlled by different genetic systems that do not represent a genuine evolutionary continuum. The adoption of fruit trees necessitated and was mediated by a number of sociocultural adaptations that include a higher level of delayed return, long-term land allocation, and resource and labor investment in processing and storage facilities. As such, fruit tree domestication could have occurred only after the domestication of annual grain crops and the establishment of farming-based communities across West Asia. Copyright © 2015 by Wiley-Blackwell. All rights reserved
Abbo, S. ; Zezak, I. ; Lev-Yadun, S. ; Shamir, O. ; Friedman, T. ; Gopher, A. Harvesting wild flax in the Galilee, Israel and extracting fibers-bearing on Near Eastern plant domestication. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 2015, 62, 52-64. Publisher's VersionAbstract
{Flax (Linum usitatissimum
Bonfil, D. J. ; Abbo, S. ; Svoray, T. Sowing date and wheat quality as determined by gluten index. Crop Science 2015, 55, 2294-2306. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in Mediterranean regions is highly variable in end-use quality at the producer level. This study aimed to understand how sowing date affects wheat quality, especially gluten index (GI). Experiments were conducted in five fields over three consecutive seasons in 2009–2011. Twenty cultivars (four of which were common to all experiments) were sown from late October to mid-January on three dates (early, normal, and late) in each field. Grain yield, test weight, protein content,GI, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) sedimentation, and alveograph parameters were analyzed. The GI of the four common cultivars showed a significant environment (experiment) × cultivar × sowing date interaction. In two experiments, GI increased with a delay in sowing; in two other experiments, a similar increase resulted from delaying sowing from the early to normal sowing dates but there was no further increase following late sowing or in one experiment where GI was unaffected by sowing date. Hence, delayed sowing mostly increased GI, except where weed or severe drought stress prevailed. Similarly, dough tenacity increased with delayed sowing. A high correlation was found among grain protein, wet gluten contents, SDS sedimentation, and alveograph index. Wheat GI was not a good predictor of quality and did not correlate with other parameters, whereas flour GI showed better correlations. Hence, we suggest delaying sowing (from late October to mid-January) to increase GI and that GI should be used with caution as a quality predictor. Instead of GI, using different methods may improve the determination of wheat quality. © Crop Science Society of America. All rights reserved.