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


Prof. Shimon Lavee

Born 1931, Berlin Germany; 
Ph.D. 1960, Hebrew Univ.; Assoc. Prof 1970.; Prof. 1976; Emeritus 1999. 


Floral Biology and differentiation, growth regulation, anthocyanine and fruit development and orchard development of olives and grapevines: Breeding and genetics of olive for table consumption and oil. Metabolic models via tissue culture.

Research projects:

Breeding of olive varieties for different orchard forms, uses and disease resistance.

Olive training for mechanization.

Optimization of irrigation requirements.

Self and cross pollination.

Cross breeding of olives for tree form for both table and oil olives, a progeny of about 4000 crosses and self pollinated offsprings are presently growing and monitored.

Identification of DNA sections related to cycloconium resistance based on RAPD-PCR analysis of different progenies is being performed.

Genetic segregation regarding fruit coloration and oil accumulation is studied using indicator clones of the breeding program.

Salinity resistance of cultivars and crossed progenies is being determined in controlled saline solutions.

A study of interaction between salinity and verticilium wilt is showing varital differences particularly in relation to tree age.

Professional Affiliations

Sigma XI
Israel Botanical Society
Israel Tissue Culture Association
American Society of Horticultural Science
Scandinavian Society of Plant Physiologists
International Association of Plant Tissue and Cell Culture
International Society for Horticultural Science
The Biblical Fruit Society of Israel.

Honors and awards

- Scientist of the year award Volcani Center - 1971.
- Honorary Award for olive Research - Spain 1972.
- Wilson Popence Award for best paper in evergreens Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. - 1982.
- Elected member of the Italian Academy for olive - 1986.
- Elected corresponding member of the Italian Academy for grapevine - 1990.
- Breeders Award the Ministry of Agriculture Israel for cv. Bamea - 1991.
- Elected Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science - 1994.
- Elected corresponding member of the Academia Georgofili, Italy - 2000.

Representative articles and research interests:

The study on the floral biology of the olive indicated that the number of flowers and distribution of inflorescences have only a minor effect on the amount of developing fruits on the tree. Lavee, S., Rallo, L., Rapaport, H.F. and Troncoso, A. (1996).

The floral biology of the olive. 1. Effect offlower number, type and distribution in fruit set. Scientia Hortic. 66: 149-158 and II.

The effect of inflorescence load and distribution per shoot on fruit set and load. Scientia Hortic. 82: 181-192 (1999).

Breeding for resistance to Cycloconium yielded a field resistant variety. Lavee, S., Harshemesh, H., Haskal, A., Meni, Y Wodner M., Ogrodovich, A., Avidan, B Wiesman, Z., Avidan, N. and Trapero, A. (1999). 

'Maalot' a new orchard resistance cultivar to Peacock eye leaf spot (Spilocaea oleagina cast.). Olivae 51-59. (also in Hebrew, Alon HaNotea 53: 446-452).

Initial molecular studies revealed specific DNA segments in correlation with the resistance to the disease. Merkuria, G.T., Collins, G Lavee, S., Sedgley, M. (2001).

Identification of genetic markers in olive linked to olive spot resistance and susceptibility. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 126: 305-308. Merkuria, G.T., Sedgley, M Lavee, S. and Collins, G.

Development of a sequence tagged site for the RAPD marker linked to leaf spot resistance in olive. J. Amer. Soc. Hortic. Sci. (accepted for publication).

The interaction Rootstock/scion in relation to the level of orchard intensification in olive showed that the rootstock has a minor effect on tree performance in all levels of intensification regardless of the varietal combination tested. Lavee, S. and Shachtel, J. (1999). 

Interaction of cultivar rootstock and water availability on olive tree performance and fruit production. Acta Hortic. 474: 399-401.