Prof Eshchar Mizrachi



Associate Professor

Department

Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology
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Research Profiles

Primary Supervisor
Desre Pinard

Co Supervisor
Lazarus Takawira

Research Interests

My research focus deals with modeling wood formation (xylogenesis) and its evolution. I am especially interested in understanding the molecular biology of carbon allocation and partitioning between polysaccharide (cellulose and xylan) and phenolic (lignin) biopolymers during wood formation in Eucalyptus trees. These polymers are an important raw material for many current commercial high-end value derivatives, and are critical for a sustainable green economy. A deeper understanding of carbon metabolic flux and utilization in secondary cell wall biosynthesis in plants is key to understanding global carbon sequestration (woody tissues of plants represent a significant carbon sink), as well as developing successful biotechnology solutions in the future to trees and other biomass-related crops.

 

The research primarily focuses on constructing a model of the regulatory network (genes, proteins and pathways) that play a role in influencing the partitioning of carbon, and the deposition of cellulose and xylan in wood, and identifying candidate pathways or processes for biotechnological improvement of trees (applied via breeding using molecular selection tools, or genetic modification). Applying transcriptome sequencing and quantitative metabolomics at the population level in conjunction with population-wide phenotypic screening has enabled a systems genetics reconstruction of factors regulating and influencing commercially important wood traits. 

 

My lab has also been the first to propose and characterize the molecular biology of xyloplasts, specialized plastids in wood forming cells that represent an irreversible carbon shunt between polysaccharide and lignin production. Using a systems biology (including various coding and non-coding transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and transmission electron microscopy) and systems genetics approach, we are characterizing how these plastids function, appear, and are regulated at a molecular level during secondary growth. 

 

I also investigate the evolution of land plants, pertaining especially to vasculature and secondary cell wall deposition, and the evolution of nuclear-organellar genome communication and regulation). Exploring the evolution of gene-networks regulating these conserved processes has broader implications for understanding the evolution of genes and gene-networks under varying evolutionary constraints. 

 

 

Export to RIS
Publication
Tonfack LB, Hussey SG, Veale A, Myburg AA, Mizrachi E. (2019) Analysis of orthologous SECONDARY WALL-ASSOCIATED NAC DOMAIN1 (SND1) promotor activity in herbaceous and woody angiosperms. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20:4623. 10.3390/ijms20184623
Myburg AA, Hussey SG, Wang JP, Street NR, Mizrachi E. (2019) Systems and Synthetic Biology of Forest Trees: A Bioengineering Paradigm for Woody Biomass Feedstocks. Frontiers in Plant Biology 10:775. 10.3389/fpls.2019.00775
Roodt D, Li Z, Van de Peer Y, Mizrachi E. (2019) Loss of wood formation genes in monocot genomes. Genome Biology and Evolution 7(1):1986-1996. https://bit.ly/2WvIe8V PDF
Pinard D, Myburg AA, Mizrachi E. (2019) The plastid and mitochondrial genomes of Eucalyptus grandis. BMC Genomics 20(132):1-14. 10.1186/s12864-019-5444-4 PDF
Pinard D, Fierro AC, Marchal K, Myburg AA, Mizrachi E. (2019) Organellar carbon metabolism is co-ordinated with distinct developmental phases of secondary xylem. New Phytologist 10.1111/nph.15739
Hussey SG, Grima-Pettenati J, Myburg AA, Mizrachi E, Brady SM, Yoshikuni Y, Deutsch S. (2019) A standardized synthetic Eucalyptus transcription factor and promoter panel for re-engineering secondary cell wall regulation in biomass and bioenergy crops. ACS Synthetic Biology 8(2):463-465. 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00440
Brown K, Takawira L, O'Neill M, Mizrachi E, Myburg A, Hussey S. (2019) Identification and functional evaluation of accessible chromatin associated with wood formation in Eucalyptus grandis. New Phytologist 223(4):1937-1951. 10.1111/nph.15897
Laubscher M, Brown K, Tonfack LB, Myburg AA, Mizrachi E, Hussey SG. (2018) Temporal analysis of Arabidopsis genes activated by Eucalyptus grandis NAC transcription factors associated with xylem fibre and vessel development. Scientific Reports 8:10983. 10.1038/s41598-018-29278-w
Pinard D, Mizrachi E. (2018) Unsung and understudied: plastids involved in secondary growth. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 42:30-36. 10.1016/j.pbi.2018.01.011
Botha J, Mizrachi E, Myburg AA, Cowan DA. (2018) Carbohydrate active enzyme domains from extreme thermophiles: components of a modular toolbox for lignocellulose degradation. Extremophiles 10.1007/s00792-017-0974-7
Mir BA, Myburg AA, Mizrachi E, Cowan DA. (2017) In planta expression of hyperthermophilic enzymes as a strategy for accelerated lignocellulosic digestion. Scientific Reports 7(1):11462. 10.1038/s41598-017-11026-1
Roodt D, Lohaus R, Sterck L, Swanepoel RL, Van de Peer Y, Mizrachi E. (2017) Evidence for an ancient whole genome duplication in the cycad lineage. PLOS ONE 12(9):e0184454. 10.1371/journal.pone.0184454
Hussey SG, Loots MT, van der Merwe K, Mizrachi E, Myburg AA. (2017) Integrated analysis and transcript abundance modelling of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 in developing secondary xylem. Scientific Reports 7:3370. 10.1038/s41598-017-03665-1
Van de Peer Y, Mizrachi E, Marchal K. (2017) The evolutionary significance of polyploidy. Nature Reviews Genetics 18:411-424. 10.1038/nrg.2017.26
Mizrachi E, Verbeke L, Christie N, Fierro AC, Mansfield SD, Davis MF, Gjersing E, Tuskan GA, Van Montagu M, Van de Peer Y, Marchal K, Myburg AA. (2017) Network-based integration of systems genetics data reveals pathways associated with lignocellulosic biomass accumulation and processing. PNAS 114(5):1195-1200. 10.1073/pnas.1620119114 PDF
Davin N, Edger PP, Hefer CA, Mizrachi E, Schuetz M, Smets E, Myburg AA, Douglas CJ, Schranz ME, Lens F. (2016) Functional network analysis of genes differentially expressed during xylogenesis in soc1ful woody Arabidopsis plants. The Plant Journal 86(5):376-390. 10.1111/tpj.13157
Mewalal R, Mizrachi E, Coetzee B, Mansfield SD, Myburg AA. (2016) The Arabidopsis Domain of Unknown Function 1218 (DUF1218) Containing Proteins, MODIFYING WALL LIGNIN-1 and 2 (At1g31720/MWL-1 and At4g19370/MWL-2) Function Redundantly to Alter Secondary Cell Wall Lignin Content. PLoS ONE 11(3):e0150254. 10.1371/journal.pone.0150254 PDF
Mizrachi E, Myburg AA. (2016) Systems genetics of wood formation. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 30:94-100. 10.1016/j.pbi.2016.02.007
Vanneste K, Sterck L, Myburg AA, van de Peer Y, Mizrachi E. (2015) Horsetails are ancient polyploids: Evidence from Equisetum giganteum. The Plant Cell 27(6):1567-1578. 10.​1105/​tpc.​15.​00157
Pinard DS, Mizrachi E, Hefer C, Kersting AR, Joubert F, Douglas C, Mansfield SD, Myburg AA. (2015) Comparative analysis of plant carbohydrate active enZymes and their role in xylogenesis. BMC Genomics 16:402. 10.1186/s12864-015-1571-8 PDF
Hussey SG, Mizrachi E, Groover A, Berger DK, Myburg AA. (2015) Genome-wide mapping of histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation in Eucalyptus grandis developing xylem. BMC Plant Biology 15:117. 10.1186/s12870-015-0499-0 PDF
Hefer CA, Mizrachi E, Myburg AA, Douglas CJ, Mansfield SD. (2015) Comparative interrogation of the developing xylem transcriptomes of two wood‐forming species: Populus trichocarpa and Eucalyptus grandis. New Phytologist 204(6):1391-1405. 10.1111/nph.13277
Kersting AR, Mizrachi E, Bornberg-Bauer E, Myburg AA. (2014) Protein domain evolution is associated with reproductive diversification and adaptive radiation in the genus Eucalyptus. New Phytologist 204(6):1328-1336. 10.1111/nph.13211
Mizrachi E, Maloney VJ, Silberbauer J, Hefer CA, Berger DK, Mansfield SD, Myburg AA. (2014) Investigating the molecular underpinnings underlying morphology and changes in carbon partitioning during tension wood formation in Eucalyptus. New Phytologist 204(6):1351-1363. 10.1111/nph.13152
Myburg AA, Grattapaglia D, Tuskan GA, Hellsten U, Hayes RD, Grimwood J, Jenkins J, Lindquist E, Tice H, Bauer D, Goodstein DM, Dubchak I, Poliakov A, Mizrachi E, Kullan ARK, Hussey SG, Pinard D, Van der Merwe K, Singh P, et al. (2014) The genome of Eucalyptus grandis. Nature 510:356-362. 10.1038/nature13308
Mir BA, Mewalal R, Mizrachi E, Myburg AA, Cowan DA. (2014) Recombinant hyperthermophilic enzyme expression in plants: a novel approach for lignocellulose digestion. Trends in Biotechnology 32(5):281–289. 10.1016/j.tibtech.2014.03.003
Mewalal R, Mizrachi E, Mansfield S, Myburg AA. (2014) Cell Wall-Related Proteins of Unknown Function: Missing Links in Plant Cell Wall Development. Plant and Cell Physiology 55 (6):1031-1043. 10.1093/pcp/pcu050
Hussey SG, Mizrachi E, Creux NM, Myburg AA. (2013) Navigating the transcriptional roadmap regulating plant secondary cell wall deposition. Frontiers in Plant Science 4(325):1-21. 10.3389/fpls.2013.00325
Mizrachi E, Mansfield SD, Myburg AA. (2012) Cellulose factories: advancing bioenergy production from forest trees. New Phytologist 194(1):54-62.
Hefer CA, Van der Merwe K, Mizrachi E, Myburg AA. (2012) The Eucalyptus Genome Integrative Explorer (EucGenIE, http://eucgenie.org/).
Hussey SG, Mizrachi E, Spokevicius AV, Bossinger G, Berger DK. (2011) SND2, a NAC transcription factor gene, regulates genes involved in secondary cell wall development in Arabidopsis fibres and increases fibre cell area in Eucalyptus. BMC Plant Biology 11:173. 10.1186/1471-2229-11-173
Hussey S, Mizrachi E, Berger D, Myburg AA. (2011) The role of SND2 in the regulation of Arabidopsis fibre secondary cell wall formation. BMC Proceedings 5(7):P114. 10.1186/1753-6561-5-S7-P114
Mizrachi E, Hefer CA, Ranik M, Joubert F, Myburg AA. (2010) De novo assembled expressed gene catalog of a fast-growing Eucalyptus tree produced by Illumina mRNA-Seq. BMC Genomics 11:681. 10.1186/1471-2164-11-681