Omri Finkel

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2014                   Ph.D. Environmental Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. The ecology and biogeography of microbial epiphytes on Tamarix, a salt secreting desert tree

                            Supervisor: Prof. Shimshon Belkin.

2007                   B.Sc., Biology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

 Project Description:

The structure and function of host associated microbial communities, microbiomes, is affected by the host phenotype, but it can also drive it. Microorganisms are known to aid plants through processes like nutrient acquisition or protection from pathogens, but the complexity of microbial communities found in association with plants has limited our ability to draw general rules guiding the assembly and maintenance of a functionally robust microbiome. The formulation and empirical testing of these assembly rules are crucial, not only for their intrinsic scientific value, but also for the effort to harness microbes and synthetic microbial consortia to predictably improve crop productivity. I am currently working on construction of synthetic communities from a librarty of genome-sequenced isolates obtained from the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana. I am using genomic annotations and metabolic models to predict the microbe-microbe and microbe-plant interactions and to test these predictions in mesocosm. 


Omri M. Finkel, Tom O. Delmont, Anton F. Post, Shimshon Belkin (2016) Metagenomic Signatures of Bacterial Adaptation to Life in the Phyllosphere of a Salt-Secreting Desert Tree AEM. In press

Chana Kranzler, Hagar Lis, Omri M. Finkel, Georg Schmetterer, Yeala Shaked and Nir Keren (2014) Coordinated transporter activity shapes high-affinity iron acquisition in cyanobacteria ISMEJ. 8:409-417

Haim Treves, Hagai Raanan, Omri M. Finkel, Simon Berkowicz, Nir Keren and Aaron Kaplan (2013) A newly isolated Chlorella sp. from desert sand crusts exhibits a unique resistance to excess light intensity FEMS Microbiol. doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12162

Omri M. Finkel, Oded Béjà and Shimshon Belkin. (2013) Global abundance of microbial rhodopsins ISMEJ. 7(2):448-51 doi: 10.1038/ismej.2012.112

Adrien Y. Burch, Omri M. Finkel, Juliana K. Cho, Shimshon Belkin and Steven E. Lindow. (2012) Diverse microhabitats experienced by Halomonas variabilis on salt-secreting leaves. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. doi: 10.1128/​AEM.02791-12

Omri M. Finkel, Tal Elad, Adrien Y. Burch, Steven E. Lindow, Susan S. Huse, Anton F. Post and Shimshon Belkin. (2012) Distance-Decay Relationships Partially Determine Diversity Patterns of Phyllosphere Bacteria on Tamarix Trees across the Sonoran Desert. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78:6187-6193. doi: 10.1128/​AEM.00888-1

Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, Omri M. Finkel, Fabian Glaser, Christian von Mering, Julia A. Vorholt, Michal Koblizek, Shimshon Belkin and Oded Béjà. (2012) Bacterial anoxygenic photosynthesis on plant leaf surfaces. Environ. Microbiol. Reports. 4:209-216. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2011.00323.x

Nof Atamna-Ismaeel*, Omri M. Finkel*, Fabian Glaser, Itai Sharon, Ron Schneider, Anton F. Post, John L. Spudich, Christian von Mering, Julia A. Vorholt, David Iluz, Oded Béjà & Shimshon Belkin. (2012) Microbial rhodopsins on leaf surfaces of terrestrial plants Environ. Microbiol. 14:140-146. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02554.x. ±

Omri M. Finkel, Adrien Y. Burch, Steven E. Lindow, Anton F. Post and Shimshon Belkin. (2011)  Phyllosphere microbial communities of a salt-excreting desert tree: geographical location determines population structure Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77:7647-7655. doi:10.1128/AEM.05565-11

Noga Qvit-Raz, Omri M. Finkel, Taghleb, Al-Deeb, Hanan, Malkawi, Muna, Y. Hyndieh, Eduard Jurkevitch & Shimshon Belkin. (2011) Biogeographical diversity of leaf-associated microbial communities from salt-secreting Tamarix trees of the Dead Sea region Res. Microbiol. 163:142-150

Omri M. Finkel, Ofer Steinitz and Ran Nathan. (2011) Distance-dependence in vertebrate and invertebrate seed predators: A case study on Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) Forêt Méditerranéenne. No. 4

 * equal contribution; ± Featured in Science Magazine’s Editor’s Choice (Science, 2011: 1551)