Department: Department of Molecular Biology and Ecology of Plants
Faculty: Life Sciences
Tel Aviv University

Prof. Yalovsky Shaul

Shaul Yalovsky studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he obtained his PhD. From 1993-1999 he carried out postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley before starting his lab at Tel Aviv University. As of 2010 Shaul is a Full Professor. From 2013 to 2016 Shaul was the head of the Department of Plant Sciences. He was a vising Professor at the ETH, Zurich in 2007, at UC Berkeley in 2009 and at Institute Jean-Pierre Bourgin, INRAE, Versailles in 2017.

As of 2020 Shaul is the head of the Peking University Institute of Advanced Agricultural Sciences – Tel Aviv University joint PhD program. In addition to his academic and administrative roles at Tel Aviv University, Shaul serves as a monitoring editor in Plant Physiology since 2005 and as an associate editor in Molecular Plant since 2015.

Research Interests
The lab focuses on signaling by Rho of Plants (ROP) GTPases and their effectors in cell polarity and abiotic stress responses. In particular our studies focus on subcellular targeting of ROPs and their partitioning into plasma membrane microdomains, the formation of self-organizing ROP activity domains, the function of the ICR family of ROP interacting proteins, the function of ROPs and ABA in regulation of xylem patterning and the role of ROPs in ABA signaling and ROS formation.

Our major research achievements include:

1) The identification of the lipid modifications required for targeting ROPs to the plasma membrane.

2) The discovery that in addition to GDP/GTP exchange, ROP activation involves transient S-acylation and partitioning into plasma membrane microdomains.

3) The finding that formation of self-organizing ROP activity domains involves GEF-dependent reduced mobile populations.

4) The discovery of the ICR family of ROP interacting proteins and their function as both microtubules associated proteins and scaffolds which mediate the interaction of ROPs with different proteins.

5) The identification of the mechanism underlying the regulation of stomata aperture by ROPs, and the potential use of ROPs for improving water use efficiency.

6) The discovery that ABA regulates root maturation, xylem patterning and lateral root growth via endodermal initials dependent microRNAs.

7) The pioneering, together with the lab of Nir Ohad, of utilizing Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) for detection of protein-protein interaction in plants.

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