Florence Zakharov

image of Florence Zakharov

Asst Professor


Plant Sciences

Offices and Labs

1057 Wickson Hall Davis, CA 95616
+1 530 752 4374
1048 Wickson Hall


2005 Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Purdue University
2000 M.Sc. Biotechnology and Plant Breeding Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique de Toulouse (France)

Research Interests

Plant Volatile Metabolism

Our research focuses on understanding plant volatile metabolism in the context of 1) aroma development in fruits and vegetables, and 2) plant defense mechanisms against pests. Although much progress has been made in achieving and maintaining good appearance quality of fruits and vegetables, there is a general consensus that flavor quality is "the last frontier". Repeat purchases are often prevented due to consumer’s dissatisfaction with product flavor quality. Flavor, defined as the combined sensation derived from taste and aroma, is a complex trait that is still poorly understood at analytical, biochemical and molecular levels. Our research investigates how volatile compounds (which confer the aroma of fruits and vegetables) are formed during fruit development and ripening, and how postharvest storage conditions affect their production. Volatiles also serve as the plant’s interface with the environment, and have been shown to play important roles in protecting plants against herbivores or pathogens. Understanding defense-related volatile biosynthesis could open new avenues for harnessing plant natural defenses against pests.

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Plant Biology

Specialties / Focus

Plant Biology
  • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genomics

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Agronomy and Horticulture


Lab website


PLS 100A Metabolic Processes of Cultivated Plants (I)
PLS 172 Postharvest Physiology and Technology (I)
PLS 173 Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Postharvest Biology (III)
PLS 212 Postharvest Biology and Biotechnology of Fruits and Nuts (III)