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Nir Ohad

External Senior Fellow
July 2010 - October 2012

Department of Plant Sciences
Tel-Aviv University

Tel. +972 (3)640-7641
Fax +972 (3)640-7642


Nir Ohad was born in Jerusalem Israel in 1959. He has a first degree in Biology and Earth sciences, a second and third degree in Genetics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. Upon completing his Ph.D diploma under the guidance of Professor J. Hirschberg, entitled "Molecular characterization of the D1 protein of photosystem II in cyanobacteria: function-structure relationship" he has joined at the laboratory of Professor R. Fischer in UC. Berkeley, USA, studying Plant Embryogenesis. Dr. Ohad has joined the Department of Plant Sciences at Tel-Aviv University in 1998. Since then he is studying epigenetic regulation of gene expression mediated by polycomb proteins (PcG), which methylate Histone 3 on L27. Dr. Ohad research is aimed at understanding the role of PcG in regulating plant development. To this end he is using the model organisms Arabidopsis a representative of flowering plants and the moss Physcomitrella patens, a representative of early terrestrial plants both serving to understand how polycomb function has evolved during land plant evolution. Dr. Ohad together with his colleague Prof. Yalosvky were among the first to adopt the Bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay ( BiFC) to study protein-protein interactions in plants. Dr. Ohad is teaching introductory class on plant biology as well as advanced classes on plant development. Dr. Ohad was a visiting scientist at the New-York Botanical Gardens Laboratories, USA on summer 2006.


FRIAS Project

Molecular and biochemical characterization of Physcomitrella patens Polycomb mutants


Selected Publications

  1. Y. BUTENKO, N. OHAD: Polycomb-group mediated epigenetic mechanisms through plant evolution Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 2011, doi:10.1016/j.bbagrm.2011.05.013
  2. N. OHAD, S. YALOVSKY: Utilizing bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) to assay protein-protein interaction in plants. Methods Mol Biol, 2010; 655: 347-358
  3. A. MOSQUNA, A. KATZ, E. L. DECKER, S. A RENSING, R. RESKI, N. OHAD (2009) Regulation of stem cell maintenance by the Polycomb protein FIE has been conserved during land plant evolution, Development Vol. 136 : 2433-2444
  4. P. JULLIEN1, A. MOSQUNA, M. INGOUFF, T. SAKATA, N. OHAD, F. BERGER (2008) Retinoblastoma and its binding partner MSI1 Control imprinting in Arabidopsis, PLoS Biol. 121: 693-1705
  5. N. OHAD, K. SHICHRUR, S. YALOVSKY (2007) The analysis of protein-protein interactions in plants by Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC), Plant Physiol, 145: 1090–1099
  6. N. OHAD (2007) Parental conflict overcome, Nature Vol 447: 275-276
  7. P. JULLIEN, A. KATZ, M. OLIVA, N. OHAD, F. BERGER (2006) Polycomb group complexes self-regulate imprinting of the Polycomb group gene MEDEA in Arabidopsis, Current Biology 16: 486–492
  8. A. ESHEL, A. KATZ, Y. WAISEL, N. OHAD (2005) Roots of tomato respond to mechanical stimulation by induction of touch genes, Plant Biosystems 139: 209-213
  9. K. BRACHA-DRORI, K. SHICHRUR, A. KATZ, M. OLIVA, R. ANGELOVICI, S. YALOVSKY, N. OHAD (2004) Detection of protein-protein interactions in plants by YFP fluorescence complementation, The Plant Journal 40: 419-427
  10. A. MOSQUNA, A. KATZ, S. SHOCHAT, G. GRAFI, N. OHAD (2004) Interaction of FIE a polycomb protein with pRb: possible mechanism regulating endosperm development, Mol Genet Genomics. 271: 651-657
  11. A. KATZ, M. OLIVA, A. MOSQUNA, O. HAKIM, , N. OHAD(2004) FIE and CURLY LEAF polycomb proteins interact in the regulation of homeobox gene expression during sporophyte development, The Plant Journal , 37: 707-719
  12. R. YADEGARI, T. KINOSHITA, O. LOTAN, G. COHEN, A. KATZ, Y. CHOI, A. KATZ, K. NAKASHIMA, J.J. HARADA, R.B. GOLDBERG, R.L. FISCHER, N. OHAD (2000) Mutations in the FIE and MEA genes that encode interacting polycomb proteins cause parent-of-origin effects on seed development by distinct mechanisms, The Plant Cell, 12: 2367-2382
  13. N. OHAD, R. YADEGARI, L. MARGOSSIAN, M. HANNON, J. J. HARADA, R. B. GOLDBERG, R.L. FISCHER (1999) Mutation in FIE, a WD polycomb-group gene, allow endosperm development without fertilization, The Plant Cell, 11: 407-415
  14. N. OHAD, L. MARGOSSIAN, Y. HSU, C. WILLIAMS, R. L. FISCHER (1996) A mutation that allows endosperm development without fertilization, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 93: 5319-5324