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The discipline of Fruit Science was founded as a part of the Department of Horticulture in Zhejiang University in 1927 by Professor Gengmin Wu (1896-1991), one of the founders of horticulture in China. In 1952, the Department of Horticulture was separated from Zhejiang University, and joined with faculty from Anhui University, Jinling University, and the National Central University to form the Department of Horticulture of Zhejiang Agricultural College (1952-1960), later becoming Zhejiang Agricultural University (1952-1998), which developed into one of the best Departments of Horticulture in China. In 1998, the Department re-joined Zhejiang University as the re-union of the new Zhejiang University.

Fruit Science is one of the earliest disciplines approved to carry out Masters (from 1981) and Ph.D (from 1986) education in China. The discipline was conferred a Key Discipline in Zhejiang Province in 1983 when the first such evaluation was carried out, and was conferred a National Key Discipline in China in 2007.

Presently, the Institute of Fruit Science has a faculty of 22, including 9 professors and 4 associate professors. Around 80% of professors have either an overseas Ph.D degree or overseas research experience. The head of the discipline and the Institute is Professor Kunsong Chen.

The Institute of Fruit Science aims to do international level research and to meet the technical requirements of fruit prodution and technology in China. With fruit quality as the central theme, we aim to elucidate the biological and genetic principles and mechanisms underlying fruit quality development and its manipulation, to explore elite germplasm resources, to develop cultivation and postharvest techniques, and to understand the linkage between fruit bioactives and human health, and finally to provide solutions for fruit industrial problems, including those related to pre-cultivation (resources and breeding), cultivation, and postharvest handling periods.

Currently, the four main research areas for the discipline are: (1) Genetic resource and breeding of fruits, (2) Fruit development and quality manipulation; (3) Postharvest biology and logistics; and (4) Fruit Nutrition and Human Health.

Recently, we undertook or are taking charge of various national and provincial projects including the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (key projects, general projects, youth projects), the National Key Technology Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the National High-tech Research and Development Program of China (863 Program), Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest of China, the National Modern Agricultural Industry Technology System Scientist Foundation of China, the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province, China (key projects, distinguished youth projects, general projects), and the Science and Technology Project of Zhejiang Province, China (major projects, key projects, general projects).

In recent years, we have published over 150 SCI papers, including 22 with an impact factor over 5, in International journals, including Biotechnology Advances, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Plant Physiology, Plant, Cell & Environment, Journal of Experimental Botany, Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, BMC Genomics, Food Chemistry, BMC Evolutionary Biology, BMC Plant Biology, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Planta, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Postharvest Biology and Technology, etc., and wrote book chapters in Fruit Ripening - Physiology, Signalling and Genomics, the Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts, etc. We also published around 100 papers in domestic journals and several textbooks or monographs.

We have won several awards, including two second-class awards at national level, one as first institution and the other as second, and four first-class ones at provincial/ ministerial level.