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Einat Hazkani-Covo, Associate Professor

Einat Hazkani-Covo
Contact Info

Open University of Israel Department of Natural Sciences 1 University Road, P.O Box 808, Ra'anana 43537 Israel
Office: 972-3-9131650 ;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 an Associate Professor 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.

April 2022-
Associate Professor, Department of Natural and Life Sciences, The Open University of Israel
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
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


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

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

de Sousa KCM, Gutierrez R, Yahalomi D, Shavit T, Markus B, Nachum-Biala Y, Hawlena H, Marcus-Hadad E, Hazkani-Covo E, de Rezende Neves HH, Covo S, and Harrus S. 2022. Genomic Structural plasticity of rodent-associated Bartonella in nature. Molecular Ecology. full text

Hazkani-Covo E. 2022. A burst of numt insertion in the Dasyuridae family during Marsupial evolution. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10:844443. full text
Abraham M and Hazkani-Covo E. 2021. Protein innovation through template switching in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae lineage. Scientific Reports 11 (1), 1-14. full text
Milo S, Harri-Misgav R, Hazkani-Covo E^, and Covo S^. 2019. Limited DNA Repair Gene Repertoire in Ascomycete Yeast Revealed by Comparative Genomics. Genome Biology and Evolution. 11(12):3409-3423. full text
Pareek M, Almog Y, Kumar Bari V, Hazkani-Covo E, Onn I, and Covo S. 2019. Alternative functional rad21 paralogs in Fusarium oxysporum. Frontiers in Microbiology 10:1370. full text
Portugez S, Martin WF, Hazkani-Covo E. 2018. Mosaic mitochondrial-plastid insertions into the nuclear genome show evidence of both non-homologous end joining and homologous recombination. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 18(1):162-172. full text
Kapust N, Nelson-Sathi S, Schönfeld B, Hazkani-Covo E, Bryant D, Lockhart PJ, Röttger M, Xavier JC, and Martin WF. 2018. Failure to recover major events of gene flux in real biological data due to method misapplication. Genome Biology and Evolution. 10(5):1198-1209. full text
Lavi B, Levy Karin E, Pupko T, and Hazkani-Covo E. 2018. The Prevalence and Evolutionary Conservation of Inverted Repeats in Proteobacteria. Genome Biology and Evolution. 10(3):918-927. full text
Omer S, Lavi B, Mieczkowski PA, Covo S, Hazkani-Covo E. 2017. Whole Genome Sequence Analysis of Mutations Accumulated in rad27Δ Yeast Strains with Defects in the Processing of Okazaki Fragments Indicates Template-Switching Events. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 7(11):3775-3787. full text
Hazkani-Covo E, Martin WF. 2017. Quantifying the number of independent organelle DNA insertions in genome evolution and human health. Genome Biology and Evolution. 9(5):1190-1203. full text
Ku C, Nelson-Sathi S, Roettger M, Sousa SL, Lockhart PJ, Bryant D, Hazkani-Covo E, McInerney JO, Landan G and Martin WF. 2015. Endosymbiotic origin and differential loss of eukaryotic genes. Nature 524(7566):427-32 full text
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. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112(33):10139-10146. full text
Song W, Gawel M, Dominska M, Greenwell P, Hazkani-Covo E, Bloom K, and Petes TD. 2013. Nonrandom distribution of interhomolog recombination events induced by breakage of a dicentric chromosome in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 194(1): 69-80. full text
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? Endocytobiosis and Cell Research 23:16–20. full text
St Charles J, Hazkani-Covo E, Yin Y, Andersen SL, Dietrich FS, Greenwell PW, Malc E, Mieczkowski P, and Petes TD. 2012. 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. Genetics 190(4):1267-1284. full text
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. full text
Hazkani-Covo E, Zeller RM, and Martin W. 2010. Molecular poltergeists: mitochondrial DNA copies (numts) in sequenced nuclear genomes. PLoS Genetics 6(2):e1000834. full text
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. full text
Hazkani-Covo E. 2009. Mitochondrial insertions into primate nuclear genomes suggest the use of numts as a tool for phylogeny. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 26(10):2175-2179. full text
Hazkani-Covo E and Covo S. 2008. Numt-mediated double strand break repair mitigates deletions during primate genome evolution. PLoS Genetics 4(10): e1000237. full text
Hazkani-Covo E and Graur. D. 2007. A comparative analysis of numt evolution in human and chimpanzee. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 24:13-18. full text
Hazkani-Covo E and Graur D. 2005. Evolutionary conservation of bacterial operons: does transcriptional connectivity matter?  Genetica 124:145-166. full text
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. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. 304B:150-158. full text
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 Biology International. 28:171-178. full text
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. Journal of Molecular Evolution 56:169-174. full text
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. Journal of Molecular Evolution 54:30-34. full text 

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

  • Genetics I 2021-
  • • Bioinformatics 2017-2019
  • • 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

Marina Voloshin (MSc student) 
Adi Zelig  (MSc student, jointly supervised with Dr. Shay Covo, Hebrew University)
Noa Levi
May Abrham
Dafna Gold Binshtok

Reut Sharabi (MSc 2021, jointly supervised with Dr. Shay Covo, Hebrew University)
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)