COLUMBIA – On Monday, leaders from University of Missouri, University of Missouri System and city of Columbia celebrated the opening of the new East Campus Plant Growth Facility with a ribbon-cutting. The state-of-the-art facility houses research greenhouses and cutting-edge, controlled-environment plant growth chambers.
MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, UM System President Mun Choi and Columbia Mayor Brian Treece were on hand to provide remarks and participate in the ribbon-cutting, along with Bob Sharp, the director of MU’s Interdisciplinary Plant Group.
“With the advanced research capabilities this facility brings, MU scholars will continue to discover new ways to improve food production and agriculture overall for the state of Missouri and beyond,” MU Chancellor Cartwright said.
At a time when about 11% of the world’s population goes hungry each year, researchers from MU’s colleges of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Arts and Science, and Engineering intend to use the facility’s more than 41,000 square feet to conduct plant research addressing issues such as global hunger and drought.
In addition to dedicated rooms for efficient processing and storage of plants collected from the field or one of the facility’s many greenhouses, the facility also features some of the tallest plant growth chambers in the world that allow corn to grow to its full 12-foot height. From droughts to monsoons, the chambers enable researchers to simulate climate conditions from all over the world to study their impacts on crops.
Built in less than two years, the facility is designed to provide researchers with maximum flexibility and efficiency, and it boasts some greenhouses that stand more than 21 feet tall. It is located at 1140 E. Campus Drive near the Animal Sciences Research Center.