The Biotron Laboratory plant research program serves the research community with unique controlled environments and research-grade greenhouse rooms. Controlled environment rooms can simulate a wide range of the world's natural climates and biomes from the abiotic extremes of freezing or heat stress to the biotic challenge of pathogen-infected plants and transgenic organisms. The plant research program also explores technological advances in sustainable and green technologies, fosters new research collaborations with researchers and facilities, and educates plant researchers and students in the best practices for plant production and research in greenhouses and controlled environments.
The Biotron also provides superior bio-isolation and pest management practices to ensure project integrity. Organic methods and biological control options are available and can be tailored to research needs.
Plant research areas include controlled environments, air-conditioned greenhouse rooms, evaporatively cooled greenhouse rooms, and potting and processing locations. Chemical preparation and wet-lab areas are available.
20 Controlled Environment Rooms (30 to 300 ft2)
Controlled environment rooms have fluorescent and incandescent lighting and can be programmed for precise temperature and humidity levels.
29 Greenhouse Rooms (150 to 500 ft2)
The greenhouse includes both air-conditioned rooms and large evaporatively cooled rooms that are useful as an economical option for large-scale seed bulking or breeding selection. Four rooms can provide elevated carbon dioxide levels. A misting room delivers high humidity for plant pathology or propagation. All greenhouse rooms have optional supplemental lighting, automatic watering and are temperature controlled to setpoint ranges.
The Biotron has a two-story greenhouse with 25 air-conditioned environmentally controlled rooms (156 ft2 and 180 ft2) and 4 large evaporatively cooled rooms (525 ft2). Environmental control provides for specific lighting, temperature, automatic watering, humidity and CO2-delivery regimens. Greenhouse rooms provide for bio-isolation of experiments and are suitable for BL1-P and some BL2-P work.
Isolated rooms and skilled professional staff provide for excellent pest management and disease control, allowing superior growth performance. Conditions in each greenhouse room are monitored daily on site and remotely for 24-hour per day, 7-days per week coverage.