1. Research
  2. Core Facilities

Greenhouse Core Facility

The Greenhouse Core Facility group manages the 65 growth chambers and greenhouse facilities available to researchers.


At more than 45,000 square feet, the greenhouse facility is the largest, single-unit research greenhouse in North America. It includes 34 separate zones divided into houses for transgenic material and others for nontransgenic material. Two of the rooms contain stand-alone insectaries that are used for pollination by bees. A dedicated quarantine house allows for a close tie-in for field and greenhouse activities.

The facility employs ebb-flow watering with a possibility of three different fertilizer mixes available to each bench in every zone.

Growth chambers include Conviron E7/2 dual chambers and the larger Conviron PGR15 chambers.

Main plants housed in the greenhouse:

  • Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) – Large stocks of alfalfa are used as elite lines in the breeding program. There are also a significant number of mutant lines that are central to the metabolic engineering and biofuels program.
  • Barrel medic (Medicago truncatula) – The Noble Research Institute is at the forefront of an international project to develop Medicago truncatula as a model legume.
  • Clover (Trifolium repens) – The Noble Research Institute is interested in developing elite lines of clover for use as a forage, as a legume and as an ornamental.
  • Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) – The Noble Research Institute is interested in developing tall fescue as a cool-season grass. Research in the greenhouse involves testing lines containing a symbiotic fungus, an endophyte that confers drought tolerance to the grass.


  • Assists with growth chamber reservations and changes
  • Maintains and sanitizes greenhouses and growth chambers
  • Manages pests for the greenhouses and growth chambers
  • Repairs and maintains the greenhouses and growth chambers
  • Provides consumables and fertilizer to users