The Iowa State University Seed Science Center (ISU-SSC) will break ground on a 2,000 square foot growth room addition in summer, 2019. The addition, funded by donors, will provide valuable new space for student research.
“The new growth rooms will provide both undergraduate and graduate students with unique opportunities to conduct work in a climate-controlled environment and to work with some unusual plant pathogens that require this kind of containment,” said Dr. Gary Munkfold, Professor of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at the SSC.
The new space will also increase the capacity of the SSC to conduct GMO testing, test for a wider range of seed-borne pathogens, and improve the ability to do epidemiology experiments with the plant pathogens that cannot be released into the field.
“We’ll be able to precisely measure the effects of different conditions on important phases of the disease cycle, such as seed transmission,” said Munkfold. “It will also be used to maintain sick plants that we need to use as reference material when we test seeds.”
The new growth rooms will be added onto the northwest corner of the existing SSC building. An Iowa company, Studio Melee located in Des Moines, will complete the design work. Construction is expected to be complete by the spring of 2020.