Skip to main content

North Florida Research And Education Center

North Florida Research And Education Center

Dr. Shahid, Muhammad Adnan

Assistant Professor

Horticulture - Stress Physiology of Fruit Crops

The main theme of my lab is to develop an integrated research and extension program in stress tolerance and physiology of fruit crops that includes cold hardy citrus, tree fruit, tree nuts, and small fruits. I am interested in investigating the influence of biotic (pest & diseases) and abiotic stressors (heat, cold, drought, salinity, heavy metal toxicity etc.) and their interactive effect on morphological, physiological, biochemical, and anatomical attributes in fruit crops, and identify mitigation strategies (nutrient & water management, PGRs, tolerant genotypes, cultural practices) enhancing resilience to these stressors with improved production. This fits well with my extension goal of providing fruit producers with relevant, research-based information for improving farm productivity, profitability and produce quality through smart-agricultural-practices in climate change scenario. So, my program has two approaches: (a) basic research I execute to understand physiological and biochemical mechanism associated with fundamental plant responses to environmental factors, (b) in applied research I pursue the answers to specific problems that will have direct beneficial effect for fruit producers in improving productivity and produce quality. In addition, diversification by introducing new fruit crops and varieties is also one of my applied research goals. Plant physiology is a complex domain which needs integrative tools and expertise for in-depth investigation on plant’s responses to various interacting climatic and non-climatic factors. Therefore, my work involves a multidisciplinary collaboration with agricultural engineers, breeders/ geneticists, entomologists, soil scientists, microbiologists, food scientists, plant pathologists, postharvest specialists, agricultural economists, and ecologists. 


  • Research

    Dr Shahid's research program is divided into two areas, Basic Research and Applied Research:

    Basic Research:

    • Fundamental approaches to understand mechanisms of plant abiotic stress tolerance with the aim of addressing long-term problems such as low and high temperature, freezing, flooding and drought.
    • High-throughput approaches like proteomics and metabolomics to decipher stress tolerance in citrus and other tree fruits
    • Investigate the physiological and molecular basis of trace elements (Si & Se) in improving disease and stress tolerance
    • Collaborative work with geneticists and plant pathologists to investigate then physiological and molecular basis of disease resistance in fruit crops with special focus on cold hardy citrus

     Applied Research:

    •  Root/scion evaluation for disease resistance and cold tolerance particularly in citrus for fresh market
    • Diversification by introducing new crops and cultivars
    • Biostimulants to improve fruit quality and yield while reducing the input cost
    • Nutrient and water management using smart-agricultural practices
    • New products (PGRs, silicon fertilizers, nanoparticles, plant-growth-promoting microbes) testing for improving growth and productivity
    • Optimization of fertilizer application rates and irrigation in cold hardy citrus production and other fruit crops
    • Standardization of cultural practices to minimize input cost
  • Extension

    Dr Shahid’s extension program strives to:

    • Develop an effective and efficient relationship with county and regional extension agents for addressing the major issues in cold-hardy citrus and other fruits production
    • Provide research-based information pertinent to fruit producers in making sound management decisions
    • Helping fruit producers in lowering input cost by delivering them timely updated information on nutrient and water management, and best-management-practices through presentations, field days, visits, webinars, videos and EDIS publications
    • Connect my clientele to new techniques and resources such as artificial intelligence, automation, online software and calculators etc.
    • Introduce new tools and technologies of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for cold hardy citrus and other fruit production systems particularly in cold hardy region
    • Need assessment through surveys and arrange education programs for grower and extension educators accordingly.
    • On-farm research trials for demonstration to the growers



Dr. Shahid, Muhammad Adnan
Assistant Professor
Horticulture - Stress Physiology of Fruit Crops
North Florida Research and Education Center
155 Research Rd.
Quincy, FL 32351
Phone: 850-875-7150
Fax: 352-846-6617

  • Education
    • Ph.D. Horticulture (Stress Physiology), University of Agriculture Faisalabad & Cornell University (Joint Program) - 2011
    • M.S. Horticulture (Stress Physiology), University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan (2008)
    • B.S. Horticulture, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan (2006)
  • Publications
  • Work History

    Assistant Professor / Stress Physiologist of Fruit Crops, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida/IFAS, North Florida Research and Education Center Quincy (2022 — present)

    Associate Professor Extension/State Specialist Greenhouse and Nursery Production, Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems, University of New Hampshire (2019 — 2021)

    Research Scientist (Biologist), Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville (2016 — 2019)

    Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan (2011— 2015)

    Foreign Visiting Scientist, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University (2010 — 2011)

    Research Associate, Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan (2009 — 2010)

  • Lab Group (Current & Alumni)

    Current Members:

    KeAndre Leaks, Ag/Food Scientist-I