Francesco Di Gioia, Ph. D.

Francesco Di Gioia, Ph. D.

  • Assistant Professor of Vegetable Crop Science
207 Tyson Building
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Sustainable vegetable production systems
  • Plant nutrition, soil fertility and irrigation management
  • Alternatives to chemical soil fumigation
  • Vegetable response to abiotic stress
  • Vegetable quality
  • Agrobiodiversity and novel vegetable products
  • Agronomic biofortification


  • B.S. and M.S., Agricultural Science and Technology, 2006, University of Bari (Italy)
  • Ph.D., Mediterranean Agronomy, 2010, University of Bari (Italy)

Join us!

We are currently looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher, please find information on the research topic and how to submit your application below:

Postdoctoral Researcher

We are seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Scholar who will conduct research and Extension activities on Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD) within the framework of a collaborative interdisciplinary project funded by the USDA-NIFA OREI program and investigating the use of ASD for Enhancing and Advancing the Sustainability of Organic Crop Production.

Check details on the position and apply here.

Research Experience

2015-2018 Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Florida / U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service.

2013-2016 Scientific responsible of the test facility AgroService R&S s.r.l. (Italy)

2012-2015 Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Bari (Italy)

Honors and Awards

2021: Recipient of the Penn State Extension 2021 Excellence Programming Individual Award.

2014: ASHS Outstanding Vegetable Publication Award of 2013 for the article titled: Grafting improves tomato salinity tolerance through sodium partitioning within the shoot. HortScience, 48 (7): 855-862. Co-recipient.


Refereed Journal Articles

  1. Poudel, P., Di Gioia, F., Lambert, J.D. and Connolly, E.L., 2023. Zinc biofortification through seed nutri-priming using alternative zinc sources and concentration levels in pea and sunflower microgreensFrontiers in Plant Science14, 1177844.
  2. Fernandez-Bayo J, Achmon Y, Guerrero MM and Di Gioia F. 2022. Editorial: Upcycling organic waste for the sustainable management of soilborne pests and pathogens in agri-food systems. Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 6:1012789.
  3. Vincent, I.R., Paudel, B.R., Guo, H., Rosskopf, E.N., Di Gioia, F., Hong, J.C., McNear Jr, D.H., Xu, N., Anrecio, L., Colee, J. and Zhao, X., 2022. Spatial and Temporal Changes of Soil Microbial Communities in Field Tomato Production as Affected by Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation. Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 6: 838635.
  4. Pace B, Cefola M, Di Gioia F. and Cozzolino R. 2022. Editorial: Effect of Genotype and Pre- and Post-harvest Factors on Volatile Organic Compounds, Nutritional and Sensorial Quality of Fruits and Vegetables. Front. Nutr. 9:945170.
  5. Chrysargyris, A., Höfte, M., Tzortzakis, N., Petropoulos, S.A. and Di Gioia, F. Editorial: Micronutrients: The Borderline Between Their Beneficial Role and Toxicity in Plants. Front. Plant Sci. 13:840624.
  6. Zhang, H., He, L., Di Gioia, F., Choi, D., Elia, A. and Heinemann, P., 2022. LoRaWAN based internet of things (IoT) system for precision irrigation in plasticulture fresh-market tomato. Smart Agricultural Technology, 2, p.100053.
  7. Li, Z., Di Gioia, F., Paudel, B., Zhao, X., Hong, J., Pisani, C., Rosskopf, E., Wilson, P. 2022, Quantifying the effects of anaerobic soil disinfestation and other biological soil management strategies on nitrous oxide emissions from raised bed plasticulture tomato production. Journal of Environmental Quality. 51, 2: 162-180.
  8. Pires, E.D.O., Di Gioia, F., Rouphael, Y., Ferreira, I.C., Caleja, C., Barros, L. Petropoulos, S.A., 2021. The Compositional Aspects of Edible Flowers as an Emerging Horticultural Product. Molecules, 26(22), 6940.
  9. Sánchez, E.S., Butzler, T.M., Elkner, T.E., Pollock, R. Di Gioia, F. Pennsylvania State University Statewide Cultivar Evaluation Program Model. Horticulturae, 7(10), 370.
  10. Zhang H., He L., Di Gioia F., Choi D.D., Heinemann P. Internet of Things (IoT)-Based Precision Irrigation with LoRaWAN Technology Applied to Vegetable Production. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, 2021, 4, 2210–2228.
  11. Di Gioia, F., Petropoulos, S.A., Ferreira, I.C.F.R., Rosskopf, E.N. 2021. Microgreens: from trendy vegetables to functional food and potential nutrition security resource. Acta Horticulture 1321, 235-242.
  12. Di Gioia, F., Rosskopf, E.N. (2021). Organic hydroponics: a US reality challenging the traditional concept of “organic” and “soilless” cultivation. Acta Horticulturae 1321, 275-282.
  13. Sánchez, E., Pollock, R., Elkner, T., Butzler, T., Di Gioia, F. Fruit Yield and Physicochemical Quality Evaluation of Hybrid and Grafted Field-Grown Muskmelon in Pennsylvania. Horticulturae, 7(4), 69.
  14. Chatzopoulou E., Carocho M., Di Gioia F., Petropoulos S.A. 2020. The Beneficial Health Effects of Vegetables and Wild Edible Greens: The Case of the Mediterranean Diet and Its Sustainability. Applied Sciences 10(9144): 1-27.
  15. Cruz L.R.O., Polyzos N., Fernandes Â, Petropoulos S.A., Di Gioia F., Dias M.I., Pinela J., Kostić M., Soković M.D., Ferreira I.C.F.R., Barros L. The effect of saline conditions on the chemical profile and the bioactive properties of three red-colored basil cultivars. Agronomy 10(1824): 1-17.
  16. Zhang H., He L., Di Gioia F., Choi D.D., Heinemann P. Internet of Things (IoT)-Based Precision Irrigation with LoRaWAN Technology Applied to High Tunnel Vegetable Production. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, 2020, 2000762.
  17. Vecchia L., Di Gioia F., Ferrante, A. Hong J.C., White C., Rosskopf E. 2020. Integrating Cover Crops as a Source of Carbon for Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation. Agronomy 10 (10), 1614.
  18. Cruz L.R.O., Fernandes Â, Di Gioia F., Petropoulos S.A., Polyzos N., Dias M.I., Pinela J., Kostić M., Soković M.D., Ferreira I.C.F.R., Barros L. 2020. The Effect of Nitrogen Input on Chemical Profile and Bioactive Properties of Green- and Red-Colored Basil Cultivars. Antioxidant 9(1036): 1-23.
  19. Rosskopf E.N., Di Gioia F., Hong J., Pisani C., Kokalis-Burelle N. Organic Amendments for Pathogen and Nematode Control. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 58, 277-311.
  20. Petropoulos S.A., Di Gioia F., Polyzos N., Tzortzakis N. 2020. Natural Antioxidants, Health Effects and Bioactive Properties of Wild Allium Species. Current Pharmaceutical Design 26 (16), 1816-1837.
  21. Petropoulos S.A., Fernandes Â, Dias M.I., Pereira C., Calhelha R., Di Gioia F., Tzortzakis N. Ivanov M., Soković M.D., Barros L., Ferreira I.C.F.R.* 2020. Wild and Cultivated Centaurea raphanina mixta: A Valuable Source of Bioactive Compounds. Antioxidant, 9 (4), 314.
  22. DI GIOIA F., HONG J., OZORES-HAMPTON M., ZHAO X., WILSON C.P., THOMAS J., LI Z., PISANI C., GUO H., PAUDEL B.R., ALBANO J., BUTLER D.M., ROSSKOPF E.N. Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation: Nutrient Cycling and Potential Environmental Impact. Acta Horticulturae 1270, 51-62.
  23. ROSSKOPF E.N., DI GIOIA F., HONG J., OZORES-HAMPTON M., ZHAO X., BLACK Z., GAO Z., WILSON C.P., THOMAS J., JONES J., SATTANNO K., DELONG A., SWISHER M., KOKALIS-BURELLE N., WANG J., LI Z., SHI L., PISANI C., GUO H., ZHU Q., PAUDEL B., JOHNS C.W., FINLEY N., MURAMOTO J., ALBANO J., SHENNAN C. Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation: Areawide Project on Obstacles and Adoption. Acta Horticulturae 1270, 23-36.
  24. HONG J., DI GIOIA F., JONES J.B., TURECHEK W., KOKALIS-BURELLE N., JOHNS C.W., FINLEY N., OZORES-HAMPTON M., McCOLLUM G., ROSSKOPF E.N. Defining Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation through Changes in the Microbiome. Acta Horticulturae 1270, 97-110.
  25. ROSSKOPF E.N., HONG J., KOKALIS-BURELLE N., PISANI C., DI GIOIA F., JONES J.B., Booker, B., Keely, M., Aglave, B., Yates-Yarbrough, S., Sances, F. 2020. Evaluation of Dominus® (allylisothiocyanate) for tomato and bell pepper production. Acta Horticulturae 1270, 337-345.
  26. Di Gioia F., Tzortzakis N., Rouphael Y., Kyriacou M.C. Sampaio S.L., Ferreira, I.C.F.R., Petropoulos S.A.,. 2020. Grown to be Blue - Antioxidant Properties and Health Effects of Coloured Vegetables. Part II: Leafy, Fruit, and other Vegetables. Antioxidants 9(2), 97.
  27. LI Z., DI GIOIA F., HWANG J.-IN, HONG J., OZORES-HAMPTON M., ZHAO X., PISANI C., ROSSKOPF E.N., WILSON P.C. 2019. Dissipation of Fomesafen in Fumigated, Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation-Treated, and Organic-Amended Soil in Florida Tomato Production Systems. Pest Management Science 76(2), 628-635.
  28. Petropoulos S.A., Sampaio S.L., Di Gioia F., Tzortzakis N., Rouphael Y., Kyriacou M.C. Ferreira, I.C.F.R.* Grown to be Blue - Antioxidant Properties and Health Effects of Coloured Vegetables. Part I: Root Vegetables. Antioxidants 8(12), 617.
  29. PAUDEL, B.R., DI GIOIA, F., ZHU Q., ZHAO, X., OZORES-HAMPTON, M., SWISHER, M.E., SATTANNO, K., HONG, J.C., AND ROSSKOPF, E.N. (2019). Implementation of Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation in Florida Tomato. HS1345, EDIS, UF/IFAS Extension
  30. DI GIOIA F., PETROPOULOS S.A., OZORES-HAMPTON M., MORGAN K., ROSSKOPF E.N. 2019. Zinc and Iron Agronomic Biofortification of Brassicaceae Microgreens. Agronomy 9, 677.
  31. PETROPOULOS S.A., FERNANDES Â., STOJKOVIĆ D., PEREIRA C., TAOFIQ O., DI GIOIA F., TZORTZAKIS N., SOKOVIC M., BARROS L., FERREIRA I.C.F.R.* Cotton and cardoon byproducts as potential growing media components for Cichorium spinosum L. commercial cultivation. Journal of Cleaner Production 240, 118254.
  32. PETROPOULOS S.A., Fernandes Â., Calhelha R.C., DI GIOIA F., Kolovou P., Barros L., Ferreira l.C.F.R. 2019. Chemical composition and bioactive properties of Cichorium spinosum in relation to nitrate/ammonium nitrogen ratio. Journal of Food Science and Agriculture 99, 6741–6750.
  33. Shi L., Wang J., Gao Z., Zhao X., Di Gioia F., Guo H., Hong J., Ozores-Hampton M., Pisani C. Rosskopf E.N. 2019. Economic Analysis of Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation for Open-field Fresh-market Tomato Production in Southwest and North Florida. HortTechnology 29 (6), 777-787.
  34. PAUDEL, B.R., DI GIOIA, F., ZHAO, X., OZORES-HAMPTON, M., HONG, J.C., KOKALIS-BURELLE, N., PISANI, C., AND ROSSKOPF, E.N. (2018). Evaluating anaerobic soil disinfestation and other biological soil management strategies for open-field tomato production in Florida. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 1-12.
  35. DI GIOIA F., AVATO P., SERIO F., ARGENTIERI M.P. 2018. Glucosinolate profile of Eruca sativa, Diplotaxis tenuifolia and Diplotaxis erucoides grown in soil and soilless systems. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 69: 197-204.
  36. GUO H., ZHAO X., ROSSKOPF E.N., DI GIOIA F., HONG J.C., MCNEAR D.H. 2018. Impacts of anaerobic soil disinfestation and chemical fumigation on soil microbial communities in field tomato production system. Applied Soil Ecology, 126: 165-173.
  37. DI GIOIA F., ROSSKOPF E.N., LEONARDI C., GIUFFRIDA F. 2018. Effects of application timing of saline irrigation water on broccoli production and quality. Agricultural Water Management, 203: 97-104.
  38. DI GIOIA F., APRILE A., SABELLA E., SANTAMARIA P., PARDOSSI A., MICELI A., DE BELLIS L., NUTRICATI E. 2017. Grafting response to excess boron and expression analysis of genes coding boron transporters in tomato. Plant Biology, 19 (5): 728-735.
  39. GUO H., DI GIOIA F., ZHAO X., OZORES-HAMPTON M., SWISHER M.E., HONG J., KOKALIS-BURELLE N., DELONG A.N., ROSSKOPF E.N. 2017. Optimizing anaerobic soil disinfestation for fresh market tomato production: Nematode and weed control, yield, and fruit quality. Scientia Horticulturae, 218: 105-116.
  40. Petropoulos S.A., DI GIOIA F., NTATSI G. 2017. Vegetable organosulfur compounds and their health promoting effects. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 23 (19), 2850 - 2875
  41. DI GIOIA F., GONNELLA M., BUONO V., AYALA O., SANTAMARIA P. 2017. Agronomic, physiological and quality response of romaine and red oak-leaf lettuce to nitrogen input. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 12(1): 47-58.
  42. Di Gioia, F., Ozores-Hampton, M., Zhao, X., Thomas, J., Wilson, P., Li, Z., Hong, J., Albano, J., Swisher, M., Rosskopf, E. 2017. Anaerobic soil disinfestation impact on soil nutrients dynamics and nitrous oxide emissions in fresh-market tomato. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 240: 194-205.
  43. DI GIOIA F., DE BELLIS P., MININNI C., SANTAMARIA P., SERIO F. 2017. Physicochemical, agronomical and microbiological evaluation of alternative growing media for the production of rapini (Brassica rapa) microgreens. Journal of Food Science and Agriculture, 97: 1212–1219.
  44. DI GIOIA F., GONNELLA M., BUONO V., AYALA O., CACCHIARELLI J., SANTAMARIA P. 2017. Calcium cyanamide effects on nitrogen use efficiency, yield, nitrates and dry matter content of lettuce. Agronomy Journal, 109: 354-362.
  45. RENNA M., DI GIOIA F., LEONI B., MININNI C., SANTAMARIA P. 2017. Culinary assessment of self-produced microgreens as basic ingredients in sweet and savoury dishes. Journal of Culinary Science and Technology, 15 (2), 126-142.
  46. Kyriacou M.C., Rouphael Y., Di Gioia F., Kyratzis A., Serio F., Renna M., De Pascale S., Santamaria P. 2016. Micro-scale vegetable production and the rise of microgreens. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 57: 103-115.
  47. Renna M., Di Gioia F., Leoni B., Santamaria P. 2016. Sprouts and microgreens (Due espressioni dell’agrobiodiversità in orticoltura: germogli e microortaggi). Italus Hortus, 23 (1): 31-44.
  48. DI GIOIA F., OZORES-HAMPTON M., HONG J., KOKALIS-BURELLE N., ALBANO J., ZHAO X., BLACK Z., GAO Z., WILSON C., THOMAS J., MOORE K., SWISHER M., GUO H., ROSSKOPF E.N. 2016. The effects of anaerobic soil disinfestation on weed and nematode control, fruit yield and quality of florida fresh-market tomato. HortScience, 51 (6): 703-711.
  49. Fayette J., Hendricks K.E., Ozores-Hampton M., Di Gioia F., Roberts, P.D. 2016. First report of powdery mildew caused by Oidiopsis haplophylli on garden nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) in Florida. Plant Disease, 100 (3): 646.
  50. OZORES-HAMPTON M., DI GIOIA F., SATO S., SIMONNE E., MORGAN K. 2015. Effects of nitrogen rates on nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium partitioning, accumulation, and use efficiency in seepage-irrigated fresh market tomatoes. HortScience, 50(11): 1636-1643.
  51. CONVERSA G., BONASIA A., DI GIOIA F., ELIA A. 2015. A decision support system (GesCoN) for managing fertigation in vegetable crops. Part II – Model calibration and validation under different environmental growing conditions on field grown tomato. Frontiers in Plant Science, 6: 495.
  52. Boari F., Cefola M., Di Gioia F., Pace B., Serio F., Cantore V. 2013. Effect of cooking methods on antioxidant activity and nitrate content of selected wild Mediterranean plants. International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, 64 (7): 870-876.
  53. DI GIOIA F., SIGNORE A., SERIO F., SANTAMARIA P. 2013. Grafting improves tomato salinity tolerance through sodium partitioning within the shoot. HortScience, 48 (7): 855-862.
  54. Poh B.L., Gazula A., Simonne E.H., Di Gioia F., Hochmuth R.R., Alligood M.R. 2011. Use of reduced irrigation operating pressure in irrigation scheduling. I. Effect of operating pressure, irrigation rate and nitrogen rate on drip-irrigated fresh market tomato nutritional status and yields: implications on irrigation and fertilization management. HortTechnology, 21 (1): 14-21 – ISSN: 1063-0198.
  55. DI GIOIA F., SERIO F., BUTTARO D., AYALA O., SANTAMARIA P. 2010. Influence of rootstock on vegetative growth, fruit yield and quality in ‘Cuore di Bue’, an heirloom tomato. The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, 85 (6): 477-482.
  56. DI GIOIA F., SIMONNE E.H., GONNELLA M., SANTAMARIA P., GAZULA A., SHEPPARD Z. 2010. Assessment of ionic interferences to nitrate and potassium analyses with ion-selective electrodes. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 41 (14): 1750-1768.


  1. DI GIOIA F., SANTAMARIA P. 2015. Migrogreens: Novel, fresh and functional food for exploring all the value of biodiversity. Publisher: Eco-logica, Bari, Italy, Pp. 115. – ISBN: 9788890928932.

Book chapters

  1. Rosskopf, E., Di Gioia, F. 2023. New Approaches to Soil Disinfestation for Specialty Crops. In: Elmer, W.H., McGrath, M., McGovern, R.J. (eds) Handbook of Vegetable and Herb Diseases. Handbook of Plant Disease Management. Springer, Cham.
  2. Poudel, P., Petropoulos, S.A., Di Gioia, F. 2023. Plant Tocopherols and Phytosterols and Their Bioactive Properties. In: Carocho, M., Heleno, S.A., Barros, L. (eds) Natural Secondary Metabolites. Springer, Cham.
  3. DI GIOIA, F., PETROPOULOS, S.A. 2021. Glucosinolates. In Food Bioactives and Health edited by Galanakis C.M. Publisher: Springer International Publishing. pp. 41-77. ISBN: 78-3-030-57469-7.
  4. Corrêa, R.C., Di Gioia, F., Ferreira, I.C. and Petropoulos, S.A., 2020. Halophytes for Future Horticulture: The Case of Small-Scale Farming in the Mediterranean Basin. Handbook of Halophytes: From Molecules to Ecosystems towards Biosaline Agriculture, Pp.1-28.
  5. Corrêa R.C.G., DI GIOIA, F., FERREIRA I.C.F.R., PETROPOULOS, S.A. 2020. Wild greens used in the Mediterranean diet. In The Mediterranean Diet – Second edition. Edited by Victor R. Preedy and Ronald R. Watson. Publisher: Elsevier Academic Press. Pp. 209-228. ISBN: 978-0-12-818649-7.
  6. DI GIOIA, F., PINELA, J., de HARO BAILON, A., FERREIRA I.C.F.R., PETROPOULOS, S.A. 2020. The dilemma of “good” and “bad” glucosinolates and the potential to regulate their content. In Glucosinolates: Properties, Recovery, and Applications edited by Galanakis C.M. Publisher: Elsevier Academic Press. pp. 1-45. ISBN: 9780128164938.
  7. Di Gioia, F., Petropoulos, S.A. 2019. Phytoestrogens, phytosteroids and saponins in vegetables: Biosynthesis, functions, health effects and practical applications. In “FUNCTIONAL FOOD INGREDIENTS FROM PLANTS” edited by Isabel C.F.R. Ferreira and Lillian Barros. Book series: Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. Vol. 90, Pp. 351-421.
  8. ZHAO X., DI GIOIA F., DELATE K., ROSSKOPF E.N., GUAN W. 2019. Advances in organic cultivation of vegetable. In Ed. George Hochmuth, “Achieving sustainable cultivation of vegetables” Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing. pp. 1-30.
  9. D’ANTUONO I., DI GIOIA F., LINSALATA V. ROSSKOPF E.N., CARDINALI A. 2018. Impact on health of artichoke and cardoon bioactive compounds: Content, bioaccessibility, bioavailability, and bioactivity. In Phytochemicals in Vegetables: A Valuable Source of Bioactive Compounds edited by Petropoulos S.A., Ferreira I.C.F.R. and Barros L. Publisher: Bentham Science.
  10. ROSSKOPF E.N., PISANI C., DI GIOIA F. 2017. Crop specific grafting methods, rootstocks and scheduling. Tomato. In Grafting Manual: How to Produce Grafted Vegetable Plants edited by Kubota C., Miles C. and Zhao X.
  11. DI GIOIA F., RENNA M., SANTAMARIA P. 2017. Sprouts, microgreens and “baby leaf” vegetables. In Minimally Processed Refrigerated Fruits & Vegetables edited by Yildiz F. and Wiley R.C. Publisher: Springer, U.S. 2. Edition, pp. 403-432 – ISBN: 978-1-4939-7016-2.
  12. DI GIOIA F., GONNELLA M., SANTAMARIA P. 2013. Contribution of leafy vegetables to dietary nitrate intake and regulations. In Nitrate in Leafy Vegetables: Toxicity and Safety Measures edited by Shahid Umar, Naser A. Anjum & Nafees A. Khan. Publisher: I.K. International Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, India, 2-16. – ISBN: 9789382332213.