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Academic status

Senior Lecturer


Short introduction

Elucidating plant metabolic processes under biotic stress is critical for improving plant resistance and increasing crop yield and food security. Therefore, I seek to understand the metabolic processes involved in plant defense mechanisms. During my Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, I conducted research on the interphase between primary metabolism toward the production of specialized metabolism under various environmental cues. In my postdoctoral training at the Boyce Thompson Institute in New York, I studied different aspects of maize-insect interaction. I focused on understanding the regulation of benzoxazinoid biosynthesis and the phytohormones signaling in response to aphid and caterpillar feeding.


My long-term goal is to identify genes and molecular markers that are suitable for controlling agricultural pests and generating resistant plants. This knowledge is also critical for uncovering the effects of multiple biotic and abiotic stresses of dryland plants.


Research interest: plant-insect interaction

·         Plant defense metabolites under insect feeding

·         Alteration of central metabolism toward production of specialized metabolism

·         Benzoxazinoid biosynthesis in wheat and barley

·         Combinatory effects of both aphid and drought on plants



·         Plants: monocots such as wheat, barley, setaria and maize

·         Insects: piercing/sucking insects such as aphids and chewing caterpillars



·         Molecular biology: gene expression (RNA-seq), gene silencing (VIGS) and overexpression

·         Analytical chemistry: small molecules (metabolites)

·         Bioinformatics: large-scale data analysis

·         Genetics: QTLs of bi-parental families and near isogenic lines

·         Biochemistry: enzyme activities

·         Insect bioassays: choice and none-choice, insect from different feeding guilds


Want to join?

Our lab is a young and vibrant. We are looking for highly motivated and ambitious master, Ph.D. students and postdocs to join the lab. You can take a part of our current projects or have your own exciting research proposal.


List of Publications

1.    Peled-Zehavi, H. Qingjun Xie, Q. Oliva, M. Tzin, V. Oren-Shamir, M. Aharoni, A* and Galili, G*. (2015) Metabolic engineering of the phenylpropanoid and its primary, precursor pathway to enhance the flavor of fruits and the aroma of flowers. Bioengineering. 2(4), 204-212

2.    Tzin, V. Fernandez-Pozo, N. Richter, A. Schmelz, EA. Schoettner, M. Schäfer, M. Ahern, KR. Meihls, LN. Kaur, H. Huffaker, A. Mori, N. Degenhardt, J. Mueller, L.A. and Jander, G. (2015) Dynamic maize responses to aphid feeding are revealed by a time series of transcriptomic and metabolomic assays. Plant Physiology. 169(3) 1727-1743

3.    Zhou, S.* Lou, YR.* Tzin, V.* and Jander, G. (2015) Alteration of plant primary metabolism in response to insect herbivory. Plant Physiology. 169(3) 1488-1498

4.    Tzin, V. Lindsay, PL. Christensen, SA. Meihls, LN. Blue, L., and Jander, G. (2015) Genetic mapping shows intraspecific variation and transgressive segregation for caterpillar-induced aphid resistance in maize. Molecular Ecology. 24(22):5739-5750 (November Cover)

5.    Tzin, V.** Rogachev, I. Meir, S. Moyal Ben Zvi, M. Masci, T. Vainstein, A. Aharoni, A. and Galili, G. (2015) Altered levels of aroma and volatiles by metabolic engineering of shikimate pathway genes in tomato fruits. AIMS Bioengineering. 2(2): 75-92

6.    Tzin, V.* Yang, X.* Jing, X. Zhang, K. Jander, G. and Douglas, EA. (2015) RNA interference against gut osmoregulatory genes in phloem-feeding insects. Journal of Insect Physiology. 79: 105–112

7.    Rojas, CM. Senthil-Kumar, M. Tzin, V. and Mysore, KS. (2014) Regulation of primary plant metabolism during plant-pathogen interactions and its contribution to plant defense. Frontiers in Plant-Microbe Interaction. 10 Feb.2014 doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00017

8.    Osorio, S. Vallarino, JG. Szecowka, M. Ufaz, S. Tzin, V. Angelovici, R. Galili, G. and Fernie, AR. (2013). Extraction and Measurement the Activities of Cytosolic Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase (PEPCK) and Plastidic NADP-dependent Malic Enzyme (ME) on Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). bio-protocol. May4;9 e1122

9.    Mijares, V. Meihls, L. Jander, G. and Tzin, V.** (2013). Near-isogenic lines for measuring phenotypic effects of DIMBOA-Glc methyltransferase activity in maize. Plant Signaling and Behavior. Oct 29;9(1).

10. Tzin, V. Rogachev, I. Meir, S. Moyal Ben Zvi, M. Masci, T. Vainstein, A. Aharoni, A. and Galili, G. (2013). Tomato fruits expressing a bacterial feedback-insensitive 3-deoxy-d-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase of the shikimate pathway possess enhanced levels of multiple specialized metabolites and upgraded aroma. Journal of Experimental Botany. 64 (14): 4441-4452.

11. Osorio, S. Vallarino, JG. Szecowka, M. Ufaz, S. Tzin, V. Angelovici, R. Galili, G. and Fernie, AR. (2013). Alteration of the interconversion of pyruvate and malate in the plastid or cytosol of ripening tomato fruit invoke diverse consequences on sugar, yet similar effects on cellular organic acid, metabolism and transitory starch accumulation. Plant Physiology. 161(2):628-643.

12. Tzin, V. Galili, G. and Aharoni, A. (2012). Shikimate pathway and aromatic amino acid biosynthesis. eLS. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001315.pub2. (Review)

13. Avin-Wittenberg, T. Tzin, V. Angelovici, R. Less, H. and Galili, G. (2012). Deciphering energy-associated gene networks operating in the response of Arabidopsis plants to stress and nutritional cues. Plant Journal. 70: 954–966.

14. Tzin, V*. Malitsky, S*. Moyal Ben Zvi, M. Bedair, M. Sumner, L. Aharoni, A. and Galili, G. (2012). Expression of a bacterial feedback-insensitive DAHP synthase of the shikimate pathway in Arabidopsis elucidates potential metabolic bottlenecks between primary and secondary metabolism. New Phytologist. 194(2):430-439

15. Avin-Wittenberg, T. Tzin, V. Less, H. Angelovici, R. and Galili, G. (2011). A friend in need is a friend indeed: Understanding stress-associated transcriptional networks of plant metabolism using cliques of coordinately expressed genes. Plant Signaling and Behavior. 6: 1294-1296.

16. Less, H.* Angelovici, R.* Tzin, V*. and Galili, G. (2011). Coordinated gene networks regulating Arabidopsis plant metabolism in response to various stresses and nutritional cues. Plant Cell. 23 (4):1264-1271.

17. Tzin, V. and Galili, G. (2010). New insights into the shikimate and aromatic amino acids biosynthesis pathways in plants. Molecular Plant. 3 (6): 956-972. (Review)

18. Hadar, H. Angelovici, R. Tzin, V. and Galili, G. (2010). Principal transcriptional regulation and genome-wide system interactions of the Asp-family and aromatic amino acid networks of amino acid metabolism in plants. .Amino Acids. 39 (4):1023-1028 (Review)

19. Tzin, V. and Galili, G. (2010). The biosynthetic pathways for shikimate and aromatic amino acids in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Arabidopsis Book. 8. e0132 (Review)

20. Tzin, V*. Malitsky, S*. Aharoni, A. and Galili, G. (2009). Expression of a bacterial bi-functional chorismate mutase/prephenate dehydratase modulates primary and secondary metabolism associated with aromatic amino acids in Arabidopsis. Plant Journal. 60 (1):156-167.

21. Oren Benaroya, R. Tzin, V. Tel-Or, E. and Zamski, E. (2004). Lead accumulation in the aquatic fern Azolla filiculoide. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. 42 (7-8): 639-645.



1.     Galili, G. Aharoni, A. Tzin, V. Malitsky, S. and Rogachev, I. Transgenic plants having altered DAHP synthase activity. 2010. Application number: PCT/IL2011/000535

2.     Galili, G. Tzin, V. Aharoni, A. and Malitsky, S. Transgenic plants having altered levels of aromatic amino acids and metabolites derivatives. 2008. Application number: PCT/IL2008/001569