Benjamin Horwitz

Education/ Resume:

Benny Horwitz studied biology and physics as an undergraduate at Tel Aviv University. He did his PhD on fungal photobiology (1984) in Plant Genetics at the Weizmann Institute. After postdoctoral research in photobiology at Syracuse University and at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Plant Biology, he took a faculty position at Technion in 1987, founding a lab to study cell signaling pathways of filamentous fungi, in particular their relevance to fungal-plant interactions.

Research Summary

Mechanisms of signal transduction in fungi. Reception and transduction of host signals in fungal-host interactions and their relevance for disease; role of conserved eukaryotic signaling genes in fungal signal transduction; gene expression patterns controlled by these pathways. Signaling by transcription factors that sense light, redox state or pH. Small molecule signals and their perception. Photobiology and spectroscopy of biological photoreceptors, in particular blue light receptors

Key Publications
  • Lev, S., A. Sharon, R. Hadar, H. Ma, and B. A. Horwitz. 1999. A mitogen-activated protein kinase of the corn leaf pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus is involved in conidiation, appressorium formation, and pathogenicity: Diverse roles for mitogen-activated protein kinase homlogs in foliar pathogens. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 96:13542-13547.
  • Berrocal-Tito, G. M., T. Rosales-Saavedra, A. Herrera-Estrella, and B. A. Horwitz. 2000. Characterization of blue-light and developmental regulation of the photolyase gene phr1 in Trichoderma harzianum. Photochem Photobiol 71:662-8.
  • Lev, S., and B. A. Horwitz. 2003. A mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway modulates the expression of two cellulase genes in Cochliobolus heterostrophus during plant infection. The Plant Cell 15:835-44.
  • Mukherjee, P. K., J. Latha, R. Hadar, and B. A. Horwitz. 2003. TmkA, a MAP kinase of Trichoderma virens, is involved in biocontrol properties and repression of conidiation in the dark. Eukaryot Cell 2:446-455.
  • Lev, S., R. Hadar, P. Amedeo, S. E. Baker, O. C. Yoder, and B. A. Horwitz. 2005. Activation of an AP1-like transcription factor of the maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus in response to oxidative stress and plant signals. Eukaryotic Cell 4: 443-54.
  • Ohm RA et al. 2012. Diverse Lifestyles and Strategies of Plant Pathogenesis Encoded in the Genomes of Eighteen Dothideomycetes Fungi.
  • PLoS Pathogens 8(12): e1003037.
  • Morán-Diez E, Trushina N, Lamdan NL, Rosenfelder L, Mukherjee, PK, Kenerley, CM and Horwitz BA. 2015. Host-specific transcriptomic pattern of Trichoderma virens during interaction with maize or tomato roots. BMC Genomics 16:8
  • Lamdan NL, Shalaby S, Ziv T, Kenerley CM, Horwitz BA. 2015. Secretome of Trichoderma interacting with maize roots: role in induced systemic resistance. Mol Cell Proteomics 14:1054-63


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Recent Publications:
  • Sherkhane PD, Bansal R, Banerjee K, Chatterjee S, Oulkar D, Jain P, Rosenfelder L, Elgavish S, Horwitz BA, Mukherjee PK. 2017. Genomics-driven discovery of the gliovirin biosynthesis gene cluster in the plant beneficial fungus Trichoderma virens. 2017. ChemistrySelect. 11: 3347-3352.
  • Bansal R, Mukherjee M, Horwitz BA, Mukherjee PK. Regulation of conidiation and antagonistic properties of the soil-borne plant beneficial fungus Trichoderma virens by a novel proline-, glycine-, tyrosine-rich protein and a GPI-anchored cell wall protein. 2019. Curr Genet 65:953-964.
  • Simaan H, Shalaby S, Hatoel M, Karinski O, Goldshmidt-Tran O, Horwitz BA. The AP-1 like transcription factor ChAP1 balances tolerance and cell death in the response of the maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus to a plant phenolic. 2020. Curr Genet. 66:187-203
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Open Positions

To enquire about current student and postdoc positions open, please contact me at horwitz@technion.ac.il

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