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French Associates Institute for
Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands



Johnathan E. Ephrath

French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands
Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Sede Boqer Campus, 849900, Israel

Tel. +972 (0)8-6596756

Cell. +972(0)52-5793027



Academic Status:

Associate Professor



During the last years I am involved in several research projects:

·         Studying parameters that affecting the development of broomrape (Orobanche) root parasite. In this stuady we examine environmental factors and plant parameters that affect the interaction between the parasite and the host.

·         Identification of Suitable Plants for Combating Desertification and Establishment of Demonstration and Training Sites. In this project we studied the effects of salinity on the development of trees (Acacia and several varieties of Tamarix) and annual shrubs on the biomass production, root and shoot development, photosynthesis and several biochemical aspects.

·         Precision agriculture approach- development models and innovative techniques for optimizing environment friendly weed management in corn". In this project we check the possibility of replacing the use of the herbicide "Atrazine", which is prohibit to be used in Europe and used to be the major and most important herbicide in corn by other weed control techniques. 

·         Developing an expert system for controlling Amaranthus spp. In Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). The aim is to develop a model to predict the optimal timing for herbicide applications for controlling the amaranthus weed in cotton.

·         Working on root physiology and morphology of several varieties of olive and citrus trees growing under different levels of salinity.

·         projects dealing with the effects of water stress, wind erosion and different temperature and radiation regimes on the early development of cotton seedling.


Research Interests:

1.     Plant modeling

2.     Root physiology and morphology

3.     Parasite weeds

4.     Physiology of plants under stress (drought, salinity, wind, temperature)


Recent (5 years) publications:

Wiessbein, S., Wiesman, Z., Ephrath, J. E. and Zilberbush, M. 2008 Vegetative and Reproductive Response of Olive Varieties to Moderate Saline Water Irrigation. HortScience 43: 320-327

Ben Asher J. ,J.E.Ephrath, M.Shomron and D.G. Blumberg 2008 Cooling of Leafy Vegetables in Greenhouses In: C. Kubota and M Kachira (eds) Proceeding of the international workshop 0n greenhouse environmental control and crop production in semi arid regions. ACTA  hort.797:87-95.

Eizenberg, H, Hershenhorn, J. and Ephrath, J. E. 2009. Factors affecting the efficacy of Orobanche cumana chemical  control in Sunflower. Weed Research 49:308-315

Baker, J. T., B. McMichael, J. J. Burke, , D. C. Gitz and R. J. Lascano and  J. E. Ephrath. 2009. Sand Abrasion Injury and Biomass Partitioning in Cotton Seedlings. Agronomy Journal 101:1297-1303

Ephrath, J. E. and Eizenberg, H. 2010. Quantification the dynamics of Orobanche cumana and Phelibanche aegyptiaca parasitism in confectionery sunflower (Helianthus annuus).  Weed Research 50:140-152

Rewald, B.  Leuschner, C.  Wiesman Z. and Ephrath, J. E., 2010. Do root hydraulic properties influence the salt tolerance of olive trees? Plant Biosystems 145: 12-22.

Ephrath J. E.. Timlin, D. J, Reddy V. R., Baker, J. T. 2010 Irrigation and Elevated Carbon Dioxide Effects on Whole Canopy Photosynthesis and Water Use Efficiency in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Plant Biosystems. 45: 202-215

Ventura, Y., Wuddineh, W. A., Ephrath, J. E., Shpigel, M.  Sagi, M. 2010. Molybdenum as an essential element for improving total yield in seawater-grown Salicornia europaea L. Scientia Horticulturae 126: 395-401

Rewald, B., Rachmilevitch, S., Ephrath, J. E. 2011. Salt Stress Effects on Root Systems of Two Mature Olive Cultivars. Acta Horticulturae..

Rewald, B. Ephrath, J. E. and Rachmilevitch, S. 2010. A root is a root is a root? – Water uptake rates of Citrus root orders. Plant, Cell and Environment. 34:33-42

Rewald, B., Rachmilevitch, S., McCue, M.D. & Ephrath, J.E. (2011) Influence of saline drip-irrigation on fine root and sap-flow densities of two mature olive varieties. Environmental and Experimental Botany: 72 (2011) 107–114

Ephrath, J. E., Hershenhorn, J., Achdari,G. and Eizenberg, H. 2012. Use of Sigmoid Equations for Detection of the Initial Parasitism Phase of Egyptian Broomrape (Phelipanche aegyptiaca) in Tomato Weed Science 60:57–63.

Rewald, B., Raveh, E., Gendler, T., Ephrath, J.E. & Rachmilevitch, S. (2012) Phenotypic plasticity and water flux rates of Citrus root orders under salinity.. J. Exp. Bot. (2012) doi: 10.1093/jxb/err457

H. Eizenberg, J. Hershenhorn, G. Achdari, J.E. Ephrath (2012) A thermal time model for predicting parasitism of Orobanche cumana in irrigated sunflower—Field validation. Field Crops Research 137: 49–55

Rewald, B; Meinen, C; Trockenbrodt, M; Ephrath, J.E. ; Rachmilevitch, S (2012): Root taxa identification in plant mixtures - current techniques and future challenges. PLANT SOIL. 2012; 359(1-2): 165-182.

Baker, J. T.,. Mahan, J. R.,  Gitz, D. C.,  Lascano, R. J. and Ephrath J. E. (2013) Comparison of Deficit Irrigation Scheduling Methods that Use Canopy Temperature Measurements. Plant Biosystems. 147:40-49

Shilo. T., Rubin, B.,  Ephrath, J. E, and Hanan Eizenberg. (2013) Continuous non-destructive monitoring of Cyperus rotundus development using a minirhizotron. Weed Research. 53: 164-168