Jonathan Gressel's research while affiliated with Weizmann Institute of Science and other places

Publications (196)

Article
Full-text available
Societal Impact Statement: Given the rapidly increasing drought and temperature stresses associated with climate change, innovative approaches for food security are imperative. One understudied opportunity is using feral crops—plants that have escaped and persisted without cultivation—as a source of genetic diversity, which could build resilience...
Article
Despite biocontrol conceptually being a useful way to control specific pests, there are very few products that are used beyond the greenhouse level, into the field. Only if organisms meet four criteria (four pillars) will they be widely used in the field to replace or augment conventional agrichemicals. 1. The virulence of the biocontrol agent must...
Article
Evolved resistance and regulatory deregistration have severely limited farmers' pesticide options. Many potential new pesticide target sites have been elucidated using targeted gene suppression and mutational tools, but few small molecules could be found that inhibit the target enzymes; the targets were considered 'undruggable'. Some organisms from...
Article
For many years, the emphasis of industry discovery programs has been on finding new target sites of pesticides and finding pesticides that inhibit single targets. There had been an emphasis on genomics in finding single targets for potential pesticides. There is also the claim that registration of single target inhibiting pesticides is simpler if t...
Article
Microbiome organisms can degrade environmental xenobiotics including pesticides, conferring resistance to most types of pests. Some cases of pesticide resistance in insects, nematodes, and weeds are now documented to be due to microbiome detoxification, and is a demonstrated possibility with rodents. Some cases of metabolic resistance may have been...
Chapter
High dose rates of pesticides rapidly select for monogenic target site resistance, especially when the chemical persists in the field or the farmer persists in continuous application, but preclude the evolution of minor gene quantitative resistance. Near sub-lethal low rates select for incrementally creeping quantitative resistance, and is exacerba...
Article
Liver-affecting, carcinogenic aflatoxins produced by Aspergillus spp. are a major problem, especially in the humid developing world where storage conditions are often optimal for the fungi. Peanuts and maize have been transformed with RNAi constructs targeting Aspergillus flavus polyketide-synthase, an early key enzyme in aflatoxin biosynthesis. Af...
Article
Resistance has evolved to single transgenic traits engineered into crops for arthropod and herbicide resistances, and can be expected to evolve to the more recently introduced pathogen resistances. Combining transgenes against the same target pest is being promoted as the solution to the problem. This solution would have worked if used pre-emptivel...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ongoing increases in the human population necessitate that rice will continue to be a critical aspect of food security for the twenty-first century. While production must increase in the coming decades to meet demand, such increases will be accompanied by diminished natural resources and rising production costs that will alter how rice is grown and...
Article
Genes regularly move within species, to/from crops as well as to their con- specific progenitors, feral, and weedy forms ('vertical' gene flow). Genes occasionally move to/from crops and their distantly related, hardly sexually interbreeding relatives, within a genus or among closely related genera (diagonal gene flow). Regulators have singled out...
Article
Full-text available
The homogeneity, density and axenic nature of cell culture system s have made them an amenable tool for studying many aspects of biocide research; screening, metabolism , m ode of action and resistance. Cell cultures are “multi-homogeneous” and each homogeneous state may be analogous to different plant parts. Cultures can be homogeneously green, ho...
Article
Full-text available
The plants used for phytoremediation pose special biological risks, whether transgenic or not, as most of the species: (a) are semi-domesticated; (b) are introduced from other habitats; (c) can become established in the contaminated site; (d) can spread and displace native species, and/or; (e) may introgress transgenes into related species. The add...
Article
Full-text available
A few species have evolved resistance to paraquat after repeated selection. As paraquat still inhibited NADP reduction, we hypothesized that resistance might be due to (a) detoxification of the paraquat-generated active oxygen species and (b) that resistant plants would have some cross resistance to other xenobiotic oxidants as well as to photoinhi...
Article
Full-text available
Many photosystem II inhibiting herbicides still inhibit this process in triazine-resistant plants; i.e. they have no cross resistance with atrazine. Five- to twenty-fold lower concentrations of phenolic type herbicidcs and 5-fold less of the active ingredient of pyridate and half as much ioxynil are required to inhibit thylakoid PS II in atrazine-r...
Article
We speculate that multi-copy transposons, carrying both fitness and unfitness genes, can provide new positive and negative selection options to intractable weed problems. Multi-copy transposons rapidly disseminate through populations, appearing in ~100% of progeny unlike nuclear transgenes, which appear in a proportion of segregating populations. D...
Article
It is necessary to control root parasitic weeds before or as they attach to the crop to prevent crop damage. Crop resistance to soil active herbicides or systemic target site herbicide resistances (where crops do not metabolise the herbicide) can be generated by mutagenesis, but using known herbicide resistance transgenes is easier. Herbicides can...
Article
Cultivating algae on a large scale will inevitably lead to spills into natural ecosystems. Most risk analyses have dealt only with transgenic algae, without considering the risks of cultivating the corresponding non-transgenic wild type species. This is despite the long-studied 'paradox of the plankton', which describes the unsuitability of laborat...
Article
Sub-toxic doses of many toxicants have positive, beneficial effects on productivity, or stress resistance (hormesis). Transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic responses to a disparate variety hormetic agents, coupled with bioinformatic analyses, can be used to identify consensus genes, their controlling elements, and their metabolites related to...
Chapter
Weedy Orobanchaceae often change host specificity at a rapid rate. These changes and the equally fast reversions to the previous host specificity are hard to explain by Mendelian mutations. The altered phenotype could be due to epigenetic reprogramming of gene expression. Conventional DNA analysis technologies can be used to ascertain whether epige...
Chapter
While only a relatively small number of parasitic Orobanchaceae are weedy and parasitise agricultural crops, the impact of these species on world agriculture and world economy is tremendous. This chapter presents the key problems that farmers face in trying to control weedy Orobanchaceae and suggests an integrative approach for their management bas...
Chapter
Fishmeal had been a major feed source, mainly for monogastric animals, as well as dairy cattle, and is required for many fish species in aquaculture, and fish oil is a major source of omega-3 fatty acids. Due to diminishing fish stocks, it is being replaced by vegetable protein supplemented with synthetic amino acids. Transgenically domesticated al...
Chapter
Full-text available
Introduction—Containers Leak Mitigation—The Concept of Conferring a Selective Disadvantage Outside of Cultivation Evidence That TM Mitigates Transgene Establishment Tailoring Mitigator Genes to Crops and Cropping Situation Concluding Remarks References
Article
Full-text available
Striga is a major constraint to food production in Africa. Most technologies developed for the eradication of Striga asiatica from the United States are not adaptable to Africa. Imazapyr and pyrithiobac coated imidazolinone-resistant (IR)-resistant maize seed prior to planting at rates of 30 to 45 g ha−1 provide near season long control of Striga a...
Article
There are two major energy and cost constraints to bulk production of single cell microalgae for biofuels or feed: expensive culture systems with high capital costs and high energy requirements for mixing and gas exchange; and the cost of harvesting using high-speed continuous centrifugation for dewatering. This report deals with the latter; harves...
Article
This book aims to build on and extend the wealth of information presented in a previous book, Agrobiodiversity: Characterization, Utilization and Management (Wood and Lenné, 1999), to show how agrobiodiversity can effectively and efficiently be managed for food security. Chapter 1 revisits the role of agrobiodiversity, while chapter 2 sets the cont...
Article
At very low pesticide rates, a certain low proportion of pests may receive a sublethal dose, are highly stressed by the pesticide and yet survive. Stress is a general enhancer of mutation rates. Thus, the survivors are likely to have more than normal mutations, which might include mutations leading to pesticide resistance, both for multifactorial (...
Article
Weeds have been controlled so successfully by herbicides, subsequently supplemented by transgenic herbicide-resistant crops, that past intractable problems have been ignored and new ones are evolving. However, industry-led discovery of new herbicide targets is now lacking and weed science as a discipline is contracting globally. This paper describe...
Article
There are a few instances where seed-expressed traits may pose a biosafety risk, depending on the species, the trait, and where it is cultivated. The fewest ecological risks of pollen flow are posed to the natural environment, as there are few crops growing in or near pristine environments that have interbreeding relatives, or bear traits that coul...
Article
Full-text available
The developing world has many unique constraints to crop production and, lacking inputs, they are best overcome if solutions are seed borne. Classical breeding cannot overcome many of these constraints because the species have attained a 'genetic glass ceiling', the genes are not available within the species. Transgenics can supply the genes, but t...
Article
The evolution of pesticide and drug resistance presents a daunting problem as the pests often evolve resistance after a short time. Debate once focused on whether resistance stems primarily from single major gene sources or sequential accumulation of quantitative traits. Such debates became moot, as examples of both are known, even within the same...
Article
A recent book edited by Neal Stewart summarized the salient information about the genomics of weeds. It is a relatively slim volume, in part because so little is known of weed genomics. The rapidly evolving weeds of modern agriculture cry out for understanding their evolution at the genomic level. Still, granting agencies have been reluctant to fun...
Article
Except for a small number of cases in which biocontrol agents were introduced from the site of origin of a weed (classical biocontrol), there have been few cases where a pathogen was virulent enough to perform cost effectively in the field as a mycoherbicide. Mycoherbicides are typically weed species specific, so compatibility with herbicides used...
Chapter
Introduction Delineating the Needs Delineating Contraindicated Situations New Technologies to Obtain Resistance Sources of Genes Advances in Obtaining Herbicide-Resistant Crops Who Should Produce Biotechnologically-Derived, Herbicide-Resistant Crop Cultivars Literature Cited
Chapter
Introduction The Needs for BD-HRC The Risks Associated with BD-HRC The Decision Tree Case Assessments Consideration of Cases Literature Cited
Chapter
Organisms need genetic mechanisms to rapidly adapt to changing, stressful environments. Having a high mutation frequency would have a drag on a population due to the deleterious nature of mutations, but having a sub-population with high mutation rate due to the presence of mutator genes seems to be nature’s solution. Far more is known about mutator...
Article
Nature Biotechnology journal featuring biotechnology articles and science research papers of commercial interest in pharmaceutical, medical, and environmental sciences.
Article
Striga is an obligate parasitic weed that attacks cereal crops in sub-Saharan Africa. In Western Kenya, it has been identified by farmers as their major pest problem in maize. A new technology, consisting of coating seed of imidazolinone resistant (IR) maize varieties with the imidazolinone herbicide, imazapyr, has proven to be very effective in co...
Article
A greater number of, and more varied, modes of resistance have evolved in weeds than in other pests because the usage of herbicides is far more extensive than the usage of other pesticides, and because weed seed output is so great. The discovery and development of selective herbicides are more problematic than those of insecticides and fungicides,...
Article
Full-text available
One theoretical explanation for the relatively poor performance of Brassica rapa (weed) x Brassica napus (crop) transgenic hybrids suggests that hybridization imparts a negative genetic load. Consequently, in hybrids genetic load could overshadow any benefits of fitness enhancing transgenes and become the limiting factor in transgenic hybrid persis...
Article
Imidazolinone resistant maize seed dressed with imazapyr has been successfully used to control the parasitic weed Striga in many locations, and has begun to be commercially successful in Africa. Despite this, occasionally poor effectiveness of control had been documented in some sites that required explanation. Analysis of the data against rainfall...
Chapter
From Fundamental Information to Practical SolutionsWhere Do We Go from Here?References
Chapter
Introduction: Arabidopsis and WeedinessQuestions about Weeds—Can Arabidopsis Genomics Answer Them?The Misdirected Approach in Using Arabidopsis to Elucidate New Herbicide TargetsArabidopsis Genomics Can Help in Dealing with Transgene Flow—In a Limited MannerLessons to Be LearnedReferences
Article
Full-text available
Abutilon theophrasti (Malvaceae) is a widely distributed weed that infests a variety of agricultural crops. Cotton is in the same botanical family, precluding the use of selective chemical herbicides. An Abutilon-specific pathovar of Colletotrichum coccodes has been considered as a potential bioherbicide for the selective control of A. theophrasti....
Article
Transgenic herbicide-resistant rice is needed to control weeds that have evolved herbicide resistance, as well as for the weedy (feral, red) rice problem, which has been exacerbated by shifting to direct seeding throughout the world-firstly in Europe and the Americas, and now in Asia, as well as in parts of Africa. Transplanting had been the major...
Article
Full-text available
The NEP1 gene encoding a fungal toxin that successfully conferred hypervirulence when transformed into Colletotrichum coccodes (Wallr.) Hughes attacking Abutilon theophrasti (L.) Medic. was tested to ascertain if it would enhance pathogenicity of Fusarium species to Orobanche aegyptiaca Pers. parasitising crops. None of the Fusarium oxysporum (#CNC...
Article
It is necessary to control root parasitic weeds before or as they attach to the crop. This can only be easily achieved chemically with herbicides that are systemic, or with herbicides that are active in soil. Long-term control can only be attained if the crops do not metabolise the herbicide, i.e. have target-site resistance. Such target-site resis...
Article
Whole-plant, negative cross-resistance was studied in Conyza canadensis and Echinochloa crus-galli, important global weeds. Negative cross-resistance can be a most useful preemptive, cost-effective tool for delaying the evolution of resistance, as well as for resistance management, after resistant populations evolve. Seeds of triazine-resistant and...
Article
Durum and bread wheat need transgenic traits such as herbicide and disease resistance due to recent evolution of herbicide resistant grass weeds and an intractable new strain of stem rust. Transgenic wheat varieties have not been commercialized partly due to potential transgene movement to wild/weedy relatives, which occurs naturally to closely rel...
Article
Petroleum dependency is a challenge that can potentially be partly offset by agricultural production of biofuels, while decreasing net, non-renewable carbon dioxide output. Plants have not been domesticated for modern biofuel production, and the quickest, most efficient, and often, the only way to convert plants to biofuel feedstocks is biotechnolo...
Article
We have previously shown that a wave of enhanced uridine incorporation into RNA occurs in the more vegetative parts of the plumule at the end of the single dark period that evokes flowering in Pharbitis nil. We demonstrate here that a light break that suppresses flowering suppresses this wave as well. It does not shift the kinetics of the wave of u...
Article
The kinetics of 35S methionine incorporation into soluble and membrane proteins during the transition from steady state dark growth to greening was studied in Spirodela. A sharp increase in the rate of incorporation occurred at 3 h, which was several h before major increases in chlorophyll were apparent. Part of this enhanced incorporation was due...
Article
A plastid mRNA (5 × 105 mol wt) appears as a burst 3 h after white light greening of steady state dark grown plants of Spirodela oligorrhiza. In this species, chlorophyll synthesis begins after 12 h. The light requirement is different from the pulse of far-red reversible red light required to abolish the lag of chlorophyll synthesis in many species...
Chapter
Full-text available
Inundative mycoherbicides have not been successful in weed control in row crops, probably due to evolutionary barriers. Adding virulence factors was considered essential. Exogenous addition of the products of various genes was used to ascertain synergy as a prelude to adding them transgenically. Transgenically Over-Expressing single ‘soft’ genes (h...
Chapter
Parasitic Striga spp. cannot be controlled underground by selective herbicides, except on crops with Target-Site resistance to systemic herbicides. Spraying herbicides is uneconomic in African conditions. Instead, targeted herbicide use via seed dressing of maize varieties bred with mutant ALS genes is being commercialized in Kenya. A multipartners...
Chapter
Full-text available
Parasitic weeds are major contributors to hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity across sub-Saharan and northern Africa by reducing crop yields in half. Over 20 million hectares of cereal grains in sub-Saharan Africa are infested with Striga (witchweed). Food production losses due to Striga in African countries range from 20% to 90%, amounting t...
Chapter
A science-based regulatory system is expected to have three key elements in requirements for enhanced biocontrol agents: no off-site dispersal, poor long-term environmental persistence, and limited possibility of recombination with other pathogens. These can be achieved by using appropriate combinations of some of the following elements: synergists...
Article
Full-text available
Inundative mycoherbicides have not been successful in weed con-trol in row crops, probably due to evolutionary barriers, and adding virulence factors was considered essential. Exogenous addition of the products of vari-ous genes was used to ascertain synergy as a prelude to adding them transgeni-cally. Transgenically over-expressing single "soft" g...
Book
The intent of the NATO Advanced Study Institute (ASI) entitled “Novel Biotechnologies for Biocontrol Agent Enhancement and Management” was to permit the meeting of the major exponents in the scienti?c community working with enhancing different biological control agents (fungi, bacteria, virus, nematodes, and insects) on different targets (pathogens...
Article
Crop domestication took place mainly through the selection for mutations that are advantageous for agriculture. In parallel, an unconscious process of selection for undesirable mutants is taking place, such as the selection for pests (weeds, insects, and pathogens) and more recently for pests that are resistant to pesticides. Experiments for select...
Article
Full-text available
Genes may introgress from transgenic crops into sexually compatible wild relatives via pollen flow. This could potentially enhance the ecological expansion of the introgressed hybrids and their progeny at the cost of other plant species, or affect health of humans and animals, depending on the novel trait engineered into the crop. To prevent genera...
Article
Full-text available
Transgenic oilseed rape (Brassica napus) plants may remain as 'volunteer' weeds in following crops, complicating cultivation and contaminating crop yield. Volunteers can become feral as well as act as a genetic bridge for the transfer of transgenes to weedy relatives. Transgenic mitigation using genes that are positive or neutral to the crop, but d...
Article
Full-text available
Transgenic oilseed rape (Brassica napus) plants can interbreed with nearby weedy Brassica rapa, potentially enhancing the weediness and/or invasiveness of subsequent hybrid offspring. We have previously demonstrated that transgenic mitigation effectively reduces the fitness of the transgenic dwarf and herbicide-resistant B. napus volunteers. We now...
Article
Full-text available
Neohesperidin dihydrochalcone (NHDC) is a seminatural, safe, low-calorie sweetener, bitterness blocker, and flavor enhancer with unique properties and applications for the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and animal feed industries. Current production is limited by the availability of the substrate neohesperidin, a flavonoid that accumulates to sign...
Data
Full-text available
Two general approaches are used to deal with transgene flow: containment of the transgenes within the transgenic crop; or transgenic mitigation of the effects of the primary transgenic trait should it escape. Most containment mechanisms severely restrict gene flow only in one direction. Gene flow (leakage) is inevitable even in that direction, allo...
Article
Full-text available
Two general approaches are used to deal with transgene flow: containment of the transgenes within the transgenic crop; or transgenic mitigation of the effects of the primary transgenic trait should it escape. Most containment mechanisms severely restrict gene flow only in one direction. Gene flow (leakage) is inevitable even in that direction, allo...
Article
Full-text available
Transgenic crops can interbreed with other crop cultivars or with related weeds, increasing the potential of the hybrid progeny for competition. To prevent generating competitive hybrids, we previously tested tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) as a model for validating the transgenic mitigation (TM) concept using tandem constructs where a gene of choic...
Article
Full-text available
Introgressive hybridization has played a crucial role in the evolution of many plant species, especially polyploids. The duplicated genetic material and wide geographical distribution facilitate hybridization and introgression among polyploid species having either homologous or homoeologous genomes. Such introgression may lead to the production of...
Article
Models related to plant protection can give an appreciation of a phenomenon, and provide ideas for priorities in research, as well as suggest management strategies. The problem with models is that mistakes can be huge when inaccurate assumptions are made about key parameters, as described with three sets of models: (1) our own model predicting that...
Article
Full-text available
The previous chapters have indicated where the evolution of exoferality (ferality engendered by introgression of genes from relatives) and endoferality (back mutations within the crop) can be problems, both with traditionally bred and with transgenic crops. Below, we try to further delineate and accentuate ensuing problems and then describe the sta...

Citations

... This approach may allow for targeting of molecular targets that have heretofore been considered to be undruggable, potentially greatly expanding the number of pesticide molecular targets. 75 Peptide-based venoms are being looked at as starting points for production of new arthropod pesticides. 76 The recent development and commercialization of a spider venom-based GS-omega/kappa Hxtx Hv1a peptide 77 for pest insect control highlights the viability of this approach. ...
... In addition, it is possible that a natural compound with an already known MOA is effective against a weed with resistance to that MOA, as the structural diversity of natural compounds allows them to bind to the target site differently from the conventional herbicide and become effective (Duke and Dayan, 2022). Moreover, many natural compounds have been found to show more than one molecular target site and more than one MOA, which makes them more effective in avoiding weed resistance (Duke et al., 2019;Gressel, 2020). For example, the natural compound sorgoleone inhibits the D2 protein in the photosystem II (PSII) and also inhibits the enzyme 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (involved in PSII plastoquinone synthesis), and linarin inhibits seed respiration, germination, root and hair growth and the donor side of PSII (Gressel, 2020). ...
... The rapid increase in biomarker identification and the decreasing cost of the technology is making biosensing a reality. The development of rapid, molecular-based agri-diagnostic tools has the potential to change the quality and timeliness of information supplied to the grower ( Gressel and Edwards, 2018). These molecular tools can provide very specific detail on the condition of the target plant, for example the level of multi-site herbicide resistance within a weed population or the type and level of micronutrient deficiency in a crop. ...
... Siccanol is produced by Drechslera siccans, a pathogenic fungus and a bicyclic sesterterpene (Lim et al., 1996). A siccanol dose of 100 mg/L completely inhibited root growth in Lolium multiflorum seedlings (Vurro, 2007). Chan and Jamison (2004) concluded that siccanol is not 11-epi-terpestacin, but (− )-terpestacin itself. ...
... For instance, urbanization has recently been associated with an increase in infectious air microbes (Li et al. 2019) whereas pesticides are known to modify soil microbial composition (Bond-Lamberty et al. 2016). Pesticide use could modify insect gut microbiomes by increasing selection pressure for insects that harbor microbes that provide resistance to chemicals (e.g., phenolic glycoside oleuropein and pinene) (Gressel 2018). Therefore, mosquito microbiomes might be subject to multiple environmental factors associated with global change. ...
... There is evidence of the involvement of multiple genes in resistance mechanisms [16,31,32]. The model presented here, in common with almost all previous ones [33], assumes a single 'resistance' gene per insecticide. ...
... Shedding light on the elements of this network and their target genes may help us to find novel targets for the construction of crops with enhanced AF resistance. Importantly, direct targeting of A. flavus by RNAi technologies may be more effective than the suppression of the AF biosynthetic gene cluster especially in late maturing grain under humid conditions (Gressel and Polturak, 2018). Hence, RNA interference-based targeting of other important genes maintaining fungal growth like spds (coding for spermidine synthase; Majumdar et al., 2018) is foreseeable. ...
... Although the possibility may be minimal, nonetheless, we must assess all available options for the management of wild species if and when the resistance trait escapes into these species (Werle et al. 2017b). A plant genotype/biotype that confers resistance to one herbicide or herbicide family but exhibits sensitivity to a different herbicide is termed as negative cross-resistance (Gressel and Segel 1990). Such negative cross-resistance can help in the management of weed species if they inherit the resistance trait by natural crossing. ...
... The development of a transgene pyramid has been a strategy used to control biotic factors under the claim of the presence of synergistic effects resulting from the combination of the proteins produced by the plants carrying the combined transgenes in the same genotype (Gressel, Gassmann & Owen, 2017;Owen, Beckie, Leeson, Norsworthy & Steckel, 2015). However, these studies disregard the negative effects of these exogenous gene combinations on the expression of other plant characters, especially with respect to the reaction on non-target organisms of transgenes (Bowers, Hellmich & Munkvold, 2013;Lazebnik, Arpaia, Baldacchino, Banzato, Moliterni, et al., 2017;Smith, Lepping, Rule, Farhan, & Schaafsma, 2017). ...
... Seed coating with PBM could protect plants against pathogens and improve seed germination against environmental stresses (e.g., drought and salinity) and agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides, growth regulators, and mineral fertilizers) (Ma 2019, Rocha et al. 2019a). Generally, different equipment and methods are used in seed coating to attain good application uniformity and adherence (Jeffs 1986). The use of appropriate seed coating equipment and methods stand can improve plant establishment and seedling vigor under environmental stresses (Ma 2019, Pedrini et al. 2017). ...