Department of Horticulture
Dr. Zhao's field of research is in biotechnology and genomics of biofuel feedstocks. He uses biotechnology and genomics tools to improve the biomass production and plant resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses of switchgrass (Panicum virginicum), which is considered a prime candidate for large-scale biomass production for ligno-cellulose derived bio-energy.
He also researches the molecular plant-microbe interactions using tomato-Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria and watermelon-Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli as two model plant-pathogen systems.
Biofuel, biotechnology, bio energy
407 Latham Hall
220 Ag Quad Ln.
Blacksburg, VA 24061