Contact Us


Mailing Address:
The Robert H. Smith Institute of
Plant Sciences and Genetics
in Agriculture
Herzl 229, Rehovot 7610001, Israel

Administrator: Neomi Maimon 
Tel: 972-8-948-9251,
Fax: 972-8-948-9899,

Secretary of teaching program:
Ms. Iris Izenshtadt
Tel: 972-8-9489333

Director: Prof. David Weiss
Tel: 972-8-948-9436
Fax: 972-8-948-9899


Selected Publications


Gopher A, Lev-Yadun S, Abbo S (2021) Breaking Ground: Plant Domestication in the Neolithic Levant: The “Core-Area One-Event” Model. Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology, The Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University.

Abbo S, Gopher A (2021) Plant Domestication and the Origins of Agriculture in the Near East. Cambridge University Press. In press.

book hebrew

Avi Gopher and Shahal Abbo 
Plant Domestication and the Origins of Agriculture in The Near East 

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.  
  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.  
  5. Abbo S, Ladizinsky G (1994) Genetical aspects of hybrid embryo abortion in the genus Lens L. Heredity 72: 193-200.  
  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 Rht1Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 23: 185-189.  
  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.  
  10. Or E, Hovav R, Abbo S (1999) A major gene for flowering time in chickpea. Crop Science 39: 315-322.  
  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.
  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.  
  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.  
  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. 
  17. Abbo S, Lev-Yadun S, Ladizinsky G (2001) Tracing the wild genetic stocks of crop plants. Genome 44: 309-310.  
  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.  
  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.  
  20. Abbo S, Lev-Yadun S, Galwey N (2002) Vernalization response of wild chickpea. New Phytologist 154: 695-701.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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 arietinumL.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics 111: 185-195.  
  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.  
  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 Research57: 465-470.  
  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.  
  31. Lev-Yadun S, Gopher A, Abbo S (2006) How and when was wild wheat domesticated? Science 313: 296.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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. 
  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.  
  38. Frenkel O, Sherman A, Abbo S, Shtienberg D (2008) Differential aggressiveness among Didymella rabiei isolates originated from domesticated chickpea and sympatric wild Cicer judaicumPhytopathology 98: 600-608.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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 Evolution57: 193-202.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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.  
  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  
  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  
  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  
  50. Golani M, Abbo S, Sherman A, Frenkel O, Shtienberg D (2016) The temperature response and aggressiveness of Peyronellaea pinodes isolates originating from wild and domesticated Pisum sp. in Israel. Phytopathology 106: 824-832.
  51. Abbo S, Gopher A (2017) Near Eastern plant domestication: A history of thought. Trends in Plant Science 22: 491-511.
  52. Naim-Feil E, Toren M, Aubert G, Rubinstein M, Rosen A, Eshed R, Sherman A, Ophir R, Saranga Y, Abbo S (2017) Drought response and genetic diversity in Pisum fulvum, a wild relative of domesticated pea. Crop Science 57: 1145-1159.
  53. van-Oss-P R, Gopher A, Kerem Z, Peleg Z, Lev-Yadun S, Sherman A, Hong-Bin Z, Vandemark G, Coyne CJ, Reany O, Abbo S (2018) Independent selection for seed free tryptophan content and vernalization response in chickpea. Plant Breeding 137: 290-300.
  54. Hellwig T, Flor A, Saranga Y, Coyne CJ, Nain D, Sherman A, Ophir R, Abbo S (2020) Environmental and genetic determinants of amphicarpy in Pisum fulvum, a wild relative of domesticated pea. Plant Science 298: 110566
  55. Hellwig T, Abbo S, Sherman A, Coyne C, Saranga Y, Lev-Yadun S, Main D, Zheng P, Ophir R (2020) Limited divergent adaptation despite a substantial environmental cline in wild pea. Molecular Ecology 29:4322–4336.
  56. Abbo S, Gopher A (2020) Plant domestication in the Neolithic Near East: The humans-plants liaison. Quaternary Science Reviews 242: 106412
  57. Abbo S, Peleg Z, Lev-Yadun S, Gopher A (2021) Does the proportion of shattering vs. non-shattering cereal remains in archeobotanical assemblages reflect Near Eastern Neolithic arable fields? Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 284: 104339
  58. Hellwig T, Abbo S, Sherman A, Ophir R (2021) Prospects for the natural distribution of crop wild-relatives with limited adaptability: The case of the wild pea Pisum fulvum. Plant Science 310: 110957
  59. Abbo S, Lev-Yadun S, Gopher A (2021) Harvest techniques: Hand-pulling and its potential impact on the archaeobotanical record vis a vis Near Eastern plant domestication. Agronomy 11: 1215