Barbara Blanco-Ulate

Barbara Blanco-Ulate

Position Title
Assistant Professor


UC Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616


Ph.D., University of California, Davis; Plant Biology, 2014
B.Sc., Instituto TecnolÛgico de Costa Rica; Biotechnology Engineering, 2008

Research interests and expertise: 

My research programís main focus is fruit biology, which includes several projects ranging from fruit genomics and biochemistry to applied postharvest research. My research interests include the control of fruit ripening, improvement of fruit quality, and fruit-pathogen interactions. We integrate systems biology approaches with biochemical and physiological analyses to study fruit development and quality traits, and to establish a novel framework for the early detection and efficient management of fruit diseases.

Current projects: 

  • Genetic interactions between ripening regulators for enhanced tomato fruit quality
  • Improvement of tomato fruit texture by modulating fruit cell wall deconstruction
  • Intersection between the regulation of tomato fruit ripening and susceptibility to fungal pathogens
  • Modeling the strawberry fruitñBotrytis cinerea pathosystem to increase disease tolerance

Current teaching: 

  • Growth and Yield of Cultivated Plants Laboratory; PLS 100BL (winter quarter)
  • Fundamentals of Postharvest Biology and Technology; PLS 172 (fall quarter, odd years)
  • Postharvest Biology and Biotechnology; PLS 212 (spring quarter, odd years)

Outreach and Extension:

  • Moderator, UC Davis Annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference
  • Lecturer and contributor to the UC Postharvest Technology Short Course
  • Host of high school students for summer research internships

External activities that contribute to scholarship:

  • Review editor, Frontiers in Plant Science
  • Reviewer for New Phytologist, BMC Genomics, BMC Plant Biology, Plant Physiology, and Biochemistry, among others.

Prizes, Awards, Honors:

  • UC Davis Hellman Fellows, 2019

Google Scholar


Social media links: 


  • Fruit biology
  • Fruit quality
  • Fruit ripening
  • Fruit-pathogen interactions
  • Cell wall dynamics
  • Systems biology
  • Genomics
  • Biochemistry
  • Plant physiology
  • Postharvest
  • Tomato
  • Strawberry
  • Fungal pathogens