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Department of Biochemistry

Eyal Maori

RNA transmission between organisms.


The Maori Group is broadly interested in the RNA interconnections of infection, immunity and genome dynamics. We are studying how RNA flows between individuals, and how it promotes social immunity and epigenetic communication between honeybees and other closely interacting organisms.

To achieve these goals, we combine RNA biochemistry techniques and imaging with high-throughput sequencing to define how beneficial RNA moves between cells, tissues and organisms.

Our research aims to provide knowledge and tools that will enable studying the biology of RNA transmission in other systems, including humans, in diverse biological aspects; hence, will ultimately contribute to the development of RNA-based applications to promote sustainability, health and disease control.


Research objectives

  • Establishment of a method to study natural RNA transmission between honeybees.

  • Characterisation of natural transmissible RNA in recipient honeybees.

  • Studying transmissible RNA-primed social immunity in subsequent generations.

  • Testing the effect of transmissible RNA on the physiology and behaviour of recipient honeybees.


Key publications

Maori E, Garbian Y, Kunik V, Mozes-Koch R, Malka O, Kalev H, Sabath N, Sela I, Shafir S (2019). A transmissible RNA pathway in honey bees. Cell Rep., 27(7):1949-1959.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.04.073

Maori E, Navarro IC, Boncristiani H, Seilly DJ, Rudolph KLM, Sapetschnig A, Lin C-C, Ladbury JE, Evans JD, Heeney JL, Miska EA (2019). A Secreted RNA binding protein forms RNA-stabilizing granules in the honeybee royal jelly. Mol. Cell, 74(3):598-608.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.03.010

Maori E, Galanty Y, Piggnochi C, Garcia AC, Meir O (2019). Modifying the specificity of non-coding RNA molecules for silencing gene expression in eukaryotic cells. Patent application: PCT/IB2018/057143

Dalla Bonna AC, Chitolina RF, Fermino ML, de Castro Poncio L, Weiss A, Lima JBP, Paldi N, Bernandes ES, Henen J, Maori E (2016). Larval application of sodium channel homologous dsRNA restores pyrethroid insecticide susceptibility in a resistant adult mosquito population. Parasit. Vectors, 9(1):397. doi: 10.1186/s13071-016-1634-y

Garbian Y, Maori E, Kalev H, Shafir S, Sela I (2012). Bi-directional transfer of RNAi between Honeybee and Varroa destructor: Varroa gene silencing reduces Varroa population. PLoS Pathog., 8(12):e1003035. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003035

Contact details

Research Group Leader  Eyal Maori


Location  Hopkins Building


The Maori Group is accepting enquiries from prospective interns, undergraduate students, postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers.