The University of Missouri is enhancing its plant biology program with a major US$28.2 million expansion of a state-of-the-art research greeenhouse and plant growth chamber facility.
The new facility will have 22,880 square feet (2,126 square meters) of research greenhouse space, with some of the greenhouse modules featuring plant growth height of up to 21 feet, 6 inches (6.5 meters) - the tallest on the MU campus.
The new plant growth chambers will control lighting, temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide. The facility will feature 9,385 square feet (872 square meters) of space for controlled environment plant growth research and include seed storage and drying rooms as well. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2019.
This double door multi-tier reach in chamber was equipped with multi-channel LED bars for tissue culture research.
The supplier of the light bars (G2V Optics) was able to customize the length of its bars and the number of light bars per fixture so that it would conform to an existing chamber design (Conviron model A2000). The LED light fixtures are quite shallow which enabled Conviron to install the fixtures within a three-tier reach in chamber. There are 4 fixtures per tier for a total of 24 LED bars in the entire chamber.
In addition to customizing the physical dimensions of the fixtures, the bars feature a four channel adjustable spectrum in ultraviolet, blue, red and far red. At any given time, one, two, three or all four channels can be activated simultaneously. To accommodate the four channel lighting an Argus Titan controller was selected rather than the standard controller for the A2000:
The poster attached (below) presented at recent Society of In Vitro Biology (SIVB) and American Biosafety Association (ABSA) conferences summarizes the difference between the universal biohazard symbol and the plant containment symbol.
The poster also presents guidelines for using the plant containment symbol for greenhouses, growth chambers, growth rooms or laboratories where plant research requires containment.
The NCERA-101 Committee on Controlled Environment Technology and Use provides further references for containment (biosafety) on its website.
Plant Production and Protection (P3) is a translational biology facility that works to solve some of the biggest problems in the global food and agriculture sector. The centre encompasses the breadth of plant and soil science expertise within the University of Sheffield, includes 24 different research groups and addresses several research themes, including:
EDEN ISS is an example of a controlled environment plant growth facility in an extreme weather location. Utilizing the latest controls and lighting technology, the objective of the €4.5 million project is to help achieve safe food production on board the ISS, future human space exploration vehicles and planetary outposts.
In this, the second part of our feature on the EDEN ISS project, German Aerospace DLR researcher Paul Zabel explains directly from Antarctica the technology they are using in this remote controlled environment:
William O. Dawson, Eminent Scholar from the Citrus Research and Education Center at the University of Florida, shared in an interview with Plant Growth Chambers dot com on how chambers purchased 45 years ago are still a key element to the research he has been conducting throughout the years.
In 1973, as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Plant Pathology of the Riverside campus of the University of California, Dr. Dawson participated in the challenge of looking for a plant growth chamber to help with their research efforts. From all the alternatives, there was only one manufacturer that provided a cost-effective option with mechanical engineering “designed like a Swiss clock” -Dr. Dawson considers this attribute could be one of the reasons why the chambers have performed so well for so many years.
EDEN ISS is a consortium of private and public organizations from around the globe that have teamed up to advance controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technologies. The objective of the €4.5 million project is to help achieve safe food production on board the ISS, future human space exploration vehicles and planetary outposts.
Comprised of leading experts from Europe, Canada and the USA in human spaceflight and CEA technology, researchers aim to address the supply of food for long-term missions to outer space by performing an Antarctic ground demonstration of plant cultivation technologies in controlled environments.
Few users of plant growth chambers are familiar with the fresh air intake and exhaust ports. Identified below, the fresh air intake allows the operator to manually adjust the rate at which fresh air is introduced into the chamber. The threaded collar is often located on the front of the chamber’s machine compartment and can be adjusted from fully closed (no fresh air) to fully open to allow maximum air exchange. See image below, left:
Air exchange is important in growth chambers to avoid CO2 deficits:
The purpose of this blog is to provide insight on the technologies associated with plant growth chambers around the world by showcasing their usage in universities, institutes and other research centers of excellence.
The blog draws upon the work of clients and other users of controlled environment equipment, Conviron subject matter experts and Conviron’s long history as the world’s leading manufacturer of controlled environments.