Horticultural Sciences Department

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Dr. Xin Zhao

Office:1235 Fifield Hall
For more information, visit Dr. Zhao's website. 

Associate Professor

Areas of Research      

  • Organic and sustainable crop production
  • Integrated use of grafting in vegetable production
  • High tunnel systems for vegetables 
  • Nutrient management in organic cropping systems
  • Quality attributes of vegetables as affected by cultural practices

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. – Horticulture, Kansas State University (2006)
  • M.S.  – Horticulture, Shenyang Agricultural University (2001)
  • B.S. – Horticulture, Shenyang Agricultural University (1998)

Teaching Responsibilities

  • HOS 3020 "Principles of Horticultural Crop Production"
  • HOS 3281C "Principles of Organic and Sustainable Crop Production"
  • HOS 4283C "Advanced Organic and Sustainable Crop Production"
  • HOS 4932 "Field Laboratory for Innovative Vegetable Production"

Work Experiences

  • Associate Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida (July 2013 to present)
  • Assistant Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida (June 2007 to June 2013)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation  Resources, Kansas State University (September 2006-May 2007)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation  Resources, Kansas State University (January 2002-August 2006)

Honors and Awards

  • North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teacher Fellow. 2014

Program Personnel

  • Biological Scientist:
    • Zack Black
  • Current Graduate Students:
    • Yurui Xie
    • Qianru Liu
    • Dustin Huff
    • Yushen Huang
  • Former Graduate Students
    • Wenjing Guan (Ph.D. 2014)
    • Ruhiyyih A. Dyrdahl-Young (M.S. 2014)
    • Shuan Hao Teo (M.S. 2013)
    • Desire Djidonou  (Ph.D. 2012)
    • Charles Barrett (M.S. 2011)
  • Current Visiting Scholars
    • Yufan Tang
    • Dr. Zhongdong Wang
  • Former Visiting Scholars
    • Dr. Yanyin Guo
    • Guixia Wang
    • Dr. Tingyou Li

Selected Publications

  • Hernandez, I.M., B.M. Santos, C.D. Stanley, and X. Zhao. 2016. Comparison of freeze protection methods for strawberry production in Florida. International Journal of Fruit Science. 16:103-112.
  • Guan, W., X. Zhao, and D.J. Huber. 2015. Grafting with an interspecific hybrid squash rootstock accelerated fruit development and impaired fruit quality of galia melon. HortScience. In press. 
  • Guan, W. and X. Zhao. 2015. Effects of grafting methods and root excision on growth characteristics of grafted muskmelon plants. HortTechnology. In press. 
  • Guan, W., X. Zhao, D.J. Huber, and C.A. Sims. 2015. Instrumental and sensory analyses of quality attributes of grafted specialty melons. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 95: 2989-2995.
  • Djidonou, D., K. Lopiano, X. Zhao, E.H. Simonne, J.E. Erickson, and K.E. Koch. 2015. Estimating nitrogen nutritional crop requirements of grafted tomatoes under field conditions. Scientia Horticulturae 182:18-26.
  • Guan, W., X. Zhao, D.W. Dickson, M.L. Mendes, and J.A. Thies. 2014. Root-knot nematode resistance, yield, and fruit quality of specialty melons grafted onto Cucumis metulifer. HortScience 49:1046-1051.
  • Djidonou, D., Z. Gao, and X. Zhao. 2013. Economic analysis of grafted tomato production in sandy soils in Northern Florida. HortTechnology 23:613-621.
  • Guan, W., X. Zhao, D.D. Treadwell, M.R. Alligood, D.J. Huber, and N.S. Dufault. 2013. Specialty melon cultivar evaluation under organic and conventional production in Florida. HortTechonology 23:905-912.
  • Djidonou, D., X. Zhao, E.H. Simonne, K.E. Koch, and J.E. Erickson. 2013. Yield, water, and nitrogen use efficiency in field-grown, grafted tomatoes. HortScience 48:485-492.
  • Barrett, C.E., X. Zhao, C.A. Sims, J.K. Brecht, E.Q. Dreyer, and Z. Gao. 2012. Fruit composition and sensory attributes of organic heirloom tomatoes as affected by grafting. HortTechnology 22:804-809.
  • Schroeder-Moreno, M.S., S.F. Clark, C.J. Byker, and X. Zhao. 2012. Internationalizing sustainable agriculture education. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2:55-68.
  • Gao, Z., M. Swisher, and X. Zhao. 2012. A new look at farmers’ markets: Consumer knowledge and loyalty. HortScience 47:1102-1107.
  • Barrett, C.E., X. Zhao, and R. McSorley. 2012. Grafting for root-knot nematode control and yield improvement in organic heirloom tomato production. HortScience 47:614-620.
  • Barrett, C.E., X. Zhao, and A.W. Hodges. 2012. Cost benefit analysis of using grafted transplants for root-knot nematode management in organic heirloom tomato production. HortTechnology 22:252-257.
  • Guan, W., X. Zhao, R. Hassell, and J. Thies. 2012. Defense Mechanisms involved in disease resistance of grafted vegetables. HortScience 47:164-170.
  • Zhao, X., Y. Guo, D.J. Huber, and J. Lee. 2011. Grafting effects on postharvest ripening and quality of 1-methylcyclopropene-treated muskmelon fruit. Scientia Horticulturae 130:581-587.
  • Li, Z., X. Zhao, A.K. Sandhu, and L. Gu. 2010. Effects of exogenous abscisic acid on yield, antioxidant capacities, and phytochemical contents of greenhouse grown lettuces. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 58:6503-6509.