Quantitative Leap into a First for Purdue
The first cast-in-place panels were set this week at the site of the new state-of-the-art Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility at Purdue University. This project began with the analysis of an existing study and the validation of the required work flow and process. Our implementation of the study criteria resulted in the creative solution and use of materials for the exterior envelope.
"This will be one of the first facilities in the country capable of imaging full height corn."
As a part of Purdue University’s “Big Moves” program, over $20 million is being invested in the College of Agriculture for plant science research and education. One of the newest innovations in plant science is phenotyping. This quantitative measurement of a plant’s physical traits can help researchers determine ways to improve a plant’s viability for growing in different climates, under varying conditions, and with a variety of fertilizers.
This new controlled environment facility will allow highly uniform growth conditions for precise control and replication of experimental variables that cannot be easily controlled in the field. Researchers will be able to study a range of environmental and atmospheric conditions, watering, plant nutrition, and soils, all while testing additional variables such as the effects of chemical applications. In addition to the benefits to plant biologists, the facility will also offer a cross-disciplinary work space for continuous R&D around new imaging sensors, phenotyping methods, experimental design, statistical analysis, and algorithm development. An interplay between public and private sector institutions and an emphasis on entrepreneurship will further enhance the unique capabilities of the facility to move plant sciences research forward. This new facility will be one of the first of its kind to house growth rooms and imaging chambers capable of working with mature, full-sized corn plants.