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Einat Hazkani-Covo, Senior Lecturer

Einat Hazkani-Covo
Contact Info

Open University of Israel Department of Natural and Life Sciences 1 University Road, P.O Box 808, Ra'anana 43537 Israel
Office:972-9-7780981 Email:einatco@openu.ac.il


We are seeking excellent MSc., PhD, and Postdoc candidates

Additional Information

Areas of Interest
  • Evolutionary insights into genome instability
  • Evolution of organelles and endosybiotic gene transfer

I am a senior Lecturer at the Department of Natural and Life Sciences, The Open University of Israel. I received my PhD under the supervision of Prof Dan Graur at Tel Aviv University studying molecular evolution. I then joined as an independent fellow to the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center at Durham, North Carolina, USA. Next, I joined the group of Prof. Thomas Petes at Duke University as a postdoc.
In my group we study questions in the areas of Genomics, Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics. More specifically we are interested in Organelle evolution and in Signatures of Genome Instability.

Jan 2015 -
Senior Lecturer, Department of Natural and Life Sciences, The Open University of Israel
Visiting Senior Lecturer, Department of Natural and Life Sciences, The Open University of Israel
2009 - 2013
Postdoctoral Research associate at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA. Advisor: Prof. Thomas Petes
Independent fellow, the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), Durham, NC, USA

PhD, Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Advisor: Prof. Dan Graur.


MSc, Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, Israel, summa cum laude.

Advisor: Prof. Dan Graur.

BSc, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel, magna cum laude.

 Milo S, Harari Misgav R, Hazkani-Covo* E, Covo* S. Limited DNA repair gene repertoire in Ascomycete yeast revealed by comparative genomics. 2019 Genome Biology and Evolution. In press.

 Pareek M, Almog Y, Bari VK, Hazkani-Covo E, Onn I, Covo S. Alternative Functional rad21 Paralogs in Fusarium oxysporum. 2019. Frontiers in Microbiology 10:1370.

 Portugez S, Martin WF, Hazkani-Covo E. Mosaic mitochondrial-plastid insertions into the nuclear genome show evidence of both non-homologous end joining and homologous recombination. 2018. BMC Evolutionary Biology 18(1):162.

Kapust N, Nelson-Sathi S, Schönfeld B, Hazkani-Covo E, Bryant D, Lockhart PJ, Röttger M, Xavier JC, and Martin WF. Failure to recover major events of gene flux in real biological data due to method misapplication. 2018 Genome Biology and Evolution 10(5):1198-1209.

 Lavi B, Levy Karin E, Pupko T, and Hazkani-Covo E. The Prevalence and Evolutionary Conservation of Inverted Repeats in Proteobacteria. 2018. Genome Biology and Evolution 10(3):918-927

 Omer S, Lavi B, Mieczkowski PA, Covo S, Hazkani-Covo E. Whole Genome Sequence Analysis of Mutations Accumulated in rad27Δ Yeast Strains with Defects in the Processing of Okazaki Fragments Indicates Template-Switching Events. 2017. G3 7(11):3775-3787.

 Hazkani-Covo E, Martin WF. Quantifying the number of independent organelle DNA insertions in genome evolution and human health.  2017. Genome Biology and Evolution. 9(5):1190-1203

 Ku C, Nelson-Sathi S, Roettger M, Sousa SL, Lockhart PJ, Bryant D, Hazkani-Covo E, McInerney JO, Landan G and Martin WF. 2015. Nature 524(7566):427-32.

Ku C, Nelson-Sathi S, Roettger M, Garg  S, Hazkani-Covo E,  and Martin WF. Endosymbiotic gene transfer from prokaryotic pangenomes: inherited chimaerism in eukaryote. 2015. PNAS. pii: 201421385

 Song W, Gawel M, Dominska M, Greenwell PW, Hazkani-Covo E, Bloom K, and Petes TD. Nonrandom distribution of interhomolog recombination events induced by breakage of a dicentric chromosome in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 2013. Genetics 194(1): 69-80.

 Martin WF, Hazkani-Covo E, Shavit-Greivink L, Schmitt V, Händeler K, Gould SB, Landan G, Graur D, Dagan T. 2012. Gene transfers from organelles to the nucleus: How much, what happens, and why none in Elysia? Journal of Endocytobiosis and Cell Research 23:16–20.

 St Charles J*, Hazkani-Covo E*, Yin Y, Andersen SL, Dietrich FS, Greenwell PW, Malc E, Mieczkowski P, and Petes TD. High-resolution genome-wide analysis of irradiated (UV and γ-rays) diploid yeast cells reveals a high frequency of genomic loss of heterozygosity (LOH) events 2012. Genetics 190(4):1267-1284. * Equal contribution

 Popa O, Hazkani-Covo E, Landan G, Martin W, and Dagan T. 2011. Directed networks reveal genomic barriers and DNA repair bypasses to lateral gene transfer among prokaryotes. Genome Research (4):599-609.

 Hazkani-Covo E, Zeller RM, and Martin W. 2010. Molecular poltergeists: mitochondrial DNA copies (numts) in sequenced nuclear genomes. PLoS Genetics 6(2):e1000834.

 Sidlauskas B, Ganapathy G, Hazkani-Covo E, Jenkins KP, Lapp H, McCall LW, Price S, Scherle R, Spaeth PA, Kidd DM. 2010. Linking Big: the continuing promise of evolutionary synthesis. Evolution 64(4):871-80.

 Hazkani-Covo E. 2009. Mitochondrial insertions into primate nuclear genomes suggest the use of numts as a tool for phylogeny. Mol Biol Evol. 26(10):2175-2179.

 Hazkani-Covo E and Covo S. 2008. Numt-mediated double strand break repair mitigates deletions during primate genome evolution. PLoS Genetics 4(10): e1000237.

 Hazkani-Covo E and Graur. D. 2007. A comparative analysis of numt evolution in human and chimpanzee. Mol Biol Evol. 24:13-18.

 Hazkani-Covo E and Graur D. 2005. Evolutionary conservation of bacterial operons: does transcriptional connectivity matter?  Genetica 124:145-166

Hazkani-Covo E, Wool D, and Graur D. 2005. In search of the vertebrate phylotypic stage: a molecular examination of the developmental hourglass model and von Baer’s third law. J Exp Zoolog B Mol Dev Evol. 304B:150-158.

 Hazkani-Covo E, Levanon E, Rotman G, Graur D, and Novik A. 2004. The evolution of multicellularity in Metazoa: a comparative analysis of the subcellular localization of proteins in Saccharomyces, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis. Cell Biol Int. 28:171-178.

 Hazkani-Covo E, Sorek R, and Graur D. 2003. Evolutionary dynamics of large numts in the human genome: rarity of independent insertions and abundance of post-insertion duplications. J. Mol. Evol. 56:169-174.

 Hazkani-Covo E, Altman N, Horowitz M, and Graur D. 2002. The evolutionary history of prosaposin: two successive tandem-duplication events gave rise to the four saposin domains in vertebrates. J. Mol. Evol. 54:30-34.

 Hazkani-Covo E. 2010. Nuclear sequences of mitochondrial origin as phylogenetic markers.  In “Encyclopedia of Life Sciences”. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester.

Mitochondria and chloroplasts are descended from free-living bacteria. The endosymbiosis theory explains why organelle genomes are significantly smaller than that of proteobacteria and cyanobacteria. We study endosymbiotic gene transfer, specifically the current transfer of mitochondrial and plastid DNA fragments into eukaryotic nuclear genomes which giving rise to nuclear copies of mitochondrial DNA (numts) and nuclear copies of plastid DNA (nupts).

DNA damage response (DDR) is a mutagenic process that leaves signatures in DNA. We are interested in such signatures that occur through evolution and population genetics. Such signatures can teach us about the mutagenic process. Till now we have focused on signatures of non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and on the affect of inverted repeats on genome instability

  • • Bioinformatics 2017-
  • • Evolution (with Prof. Arial Chipman and Dr. Merav Wacht-Katz) 2014-2017
  • • General Biology I: Cells, Genetics, Evolution and Diversity (20118)
  • • Genetics I (20495)
  • • Genetics II (20924)
  • • Evolution (20397)
  • • Bioinformatics: Analysis of Sequences and Genomes (20579)

We are always looking for researchers to join the team.
Open University students (and others) are encourage to contact Einat.
Training undergrad students (Project student) is an important part of our job! Undergraduates interested in gaining research experience are encouraged to contact Einat.

Ido Hasson (MSc student, jointly supervised with Prof. Tal Pupko, Tel Aviv University)
Adi Zelig  (MSc student, jointly supervised with Dr. Shay Covo, Hebrew University)
Reut Sharabi (MSc student, jointly supervised with Dr. Shay Covo, Hebrew University)
Noa Levi
May Abrham

Shir Portugez (MSc 2018, jointly supervised with Prof. Tal Pupko, Tel Aviv University)
Sumita Omer (Postdoctoral fellow, 2017)
Bar Lavi (MSc 2017, jointly supervised with Prof. Tal Pupko, Tel Aviv University)
Lilach Friendman (Research associate, 2017)
Reut Harari Misgav (Research associate, 2016)