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Plants @ Cambridge

Across the university campus we have a range of state-of-the-art facilities for plant science research. Some of the facilities listed on this page are availble for use by other external researchers and industry.

Agal Innovation Centre

These test and scale-up facilities enable algal research from strain selection and improvement, through harvesting and processing, to the development of underpinning technology and engineering solutions. The research-grade 164-square-meter glasshouse houses a range of algal growth and harvesting equipment and is licensed by DEFRA APHA to grow non-native algal species and GM organisms. Find out more about the Algal Innovation Centre.

Controlled Growth Facility

This state-of-the-art facility includes 26 MTPC multi-tiered rooms ideally suited for growing the model plant Arabidopsis, 11 BWD high light level rooms for growing better quality crop plants and five PGC20 reach-in cabinets for growing a wide range of plants. Find out more about the Controlled Growth Facility.

Crop Science Centre

The centre has dedicated facilities that house the technologies necessary for crop improvement and benefits from all of the field and farm facilities available at NIAB, including greenhouses designed for speed breeding and growth rooms that can mimic a variety of environments. Find out more about the Crop Science Centre.


This Venlo style, computer-controlled glasshouse with mobile benches, resin-sealed floor, grow lamps and separate plant preparation area is suitable for growing plants all year round where precise environmental conditions are not a prerequisite. Find out more about the Greenhouse.

High-Speed Computing Facilities

Our high-speed computing facilities support the mathematical modelling of plant-pathogen interactions, the epidemiology of disease and 3D-imaging of plant development and include a 96 core Linux cluster with 40TB of storage running ADDAPTS for analysis of high-throughput DNA sequence data. Find out more about the High Speed Computing Facilities.

Level 2 Containment Facility

The Level 2 Containment Facility is equipped with growth cabinets, microbiological safety cabinet, fluorescence dissecting microscope and inverted light microscope for research using licenced plant-pathogenic microorganisms. Find out more about the Level Two Containment Facility.

Microscopy Facilities

The microscopy facilities support at a wide range of techniques from macro-imaging and photography through to stereofluorescence, confocal, raman and scanning electron microscopy. Support facilities include a well-equipped prep room, sample incubation growth chamber, uninterrupted back-up power supply and data storage on a central server. An advanced workstation contains various tools for 4D analysis including Imaris and Huygens. Find out more about the Microscopy Facilities.

Seed Store

The seed store provides a controlled environment giving the International Day Room Standard of 15% relative humidity at a temperature of 15˚C, allowing seeds to be stored for more than 200 years whilst maintaining 85-95% viability. Find out more about the Seed Store.

Tissue Culture Rooms

There are four purpose-built tissue culture rooms that provide a suitable environment for tissue culture growth as well as six higher spec stand-alone cabinets, including five Percival Select Chambers and one Conviron A1000 Adaptis. Find out more about the Tissue Culture Rooms.