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HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology unveils greenhouse research facility

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology on Wednesday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of its new 14,000-square-foot glass greenhouse facility.

HudsonAlpha’s Greenhouse and Educational Learning Labs, which is the latest addition to its Huntsville biotech campus, is the first of its kind in the United States.

According to a release, the institute’s new facility includes top-of-the-line molecular laboratories and cutting-edge technological features.

In addition to serving as a living teaching lab for the institute’s faculty and students, the facility will help researchers in the HudsonAlpha Center for Plant Science and Sustainable Agriculture advance the use of genomics.

Joining HudsonAlpha during the unveiling ceremony was Gov. Kay Ivey, who asserted that the institute’s facility would serve to drive economic activity in the Yellowhammer State.

“For years, HudsonAlpha has been working with Alabama farmers to improve their crops and to make their land sustainable for future generations,” noted Ivey. “The people working in this one-of-a-kind facility will use the power of genomics to strengthen Alabama agriculture, build an ag-focused workforce, and create new economic opportunities for our state.”

The new facility will give HudsonAlpha’s Center for Plant Science and Sustainable Agriculture the capacity to breed and grow research plants. The institute advised that the research would be geared toward improving existing crops and developing new uses for plants.

The facility holds two lab spaces, seven grow rooms with 15-foot ceilings and technological advancements to support transformative research and teaching.

“Research in the facility will focus on advancing sustainability in a variety of crops, maximizing fuel production from plant biomass, reducing fertilizer use and reducing or eliminating fungicides to increase crop yields,” HudsonAlpha noted in its release. “The next phase of the facility will be to install a demonstration garden to showcase advancements in crop improvement.”

Neil Lamb, president of HudsonAlpha, asserted that the research conducted in the new facility would hold a global impact.

“In its most basic sense, simply opening this facility is tremendously exciting for us because of what this building represents,” said Lamb. “Within these walls, scientific discoveries will unlock solutions to feed, fuel and clothe our world.”

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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