North Carolina State University Opens Greenhouse Complex

August 9, 2012 - 07:08

North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute, located at the North Carolina Research Campus, has begun operations at three new greenhouses near the life sciences hub in Kannapolis.

North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI), located at the North Carolina Research Campus, has begun operations at three new greenhouses near the life sciences hub in Kannapolis.

The $340,000 greenhouse complex will strengthen N.C. State’s infrastructure at the N.C. Research Campus, creating about 10,000 sq. ft. of additional space for plant trials and fostering relationships with business and campus partners that can rent space for individual or collaborative research projects.

PHHI scientists study plants – mainly fruits and vegetables – to discover and deliver innovative plant-based solutions to advance human health.“We are using the greenhouses to determine the disease-resistance of certain strawberry plants,” says Dr. Jeremy Pattison, PHHI’s strawberry breeder. “Varieties that demonstrate ideal properties will then go to the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury for evaluation of production characteristics, like yield, size and color. The data that comes out of the greenhouses directly impacts our strawberry breeding decisions.”

Ultimately, Pattison aims to breed a superior N.C. strawberry via traditional methods, one that will extend the growing season and add value to the state’s agriculture industry.

Pattison also has been a key figure in getting the greenhouses up and running, dating back to the research and development phase in 2008. This month he was part of the selection committee at PHHI that hired Megan Bame as the greenhouse operations technician.

In this newly created position, Bame oversees daily activities at the greenhouses, manages space allocation and helps ensure that research is carried out effectively and safely. Bame, whose background includes a master’s degree in horticulture from N.C. State and more than 10 years of experience in the greenhouse industry, officially started work at the PHHI greenhouses on July 9.  

You can learn more about the program at http://plantsforhumanhealth.ncsu.edu.

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