Dario Cantù, Ph.D.
Professor (Plant Biologist)
Viticulture and Enology
PhD, Plant Biology, University of California Davis
Plant biologist Dr. Dario Cantù was born and raised in Milan, Italy, where he received his undergraduate training and his Master degree in Agricultural Sciences in Fall 2004. He then joined the Plant Biology Graduate Group at UC Davis and obtained his PhD in Fall 2009. During his PhD research under the supervision of Drs. Ann Powell and John Labavitch, Dr. Cantù investigated the molecular determinants of ripe fruit susceptibility to the fungal pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. After graduating from UCD, Dr. Cantù conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Jorge Dubcovsky where he pioneered the application of next generation sequencing technologies to the study of plant traits and plant pathogens. Since Fall 2012 in the V&E Department Dr. Cantù's research integrates principles of systems biology and quantitative genetics and uses genomics and bioinformatics to dissect the genetic bases of economically important grape traits, including responses to biotic and abiotic stresses and flavor. Research topics range from (i) grapevine resistance to pathogens, (ii) the evolution of pathogenicity in plant pathogens, (iii) berry ripening and its association with pathogens and microbial communities, (iv) domestication and evolution of grapes, (vi) genetics of grape and wine flavor and aroma. For the V&E department, Dr. Cantù teaches Introduction to Viticulture (VEN2), Grape Pests and Diseases (VEN118), and Grape Development & Composition (VEN210).