Bench-top Controlled Environment Growth Chamber for Speed-Breeding and Crop Transformation

This project aims to develop a low-cost, open source bench-top controlled environment chamber, with speed breeding capabilities.

The Idea

Plant research institutes, like the John Innes Centre, depend greatly on controlled environment facilities for most of their projects. Shared facilities include glasshouses and controlled environment rooms which are high in demand. After consulting with project leaders at the John Innes Centre, we propose that development of an open low-cost bench-top controlled environment chamber can address this high demand and be of great benefit for plant synthetic biology and plant research worldwide. The incorporation of “speed-breeding” capability (growing plants under near continuous photoperiod) will prove useful for fast generation cycling. A device with these characteristics can be achieved with low-cost microcontrollers like Arduino and/or Raspberry Pi, and low-cost sensors and modules. To build this, an interdisciplinary team was assembled with a wide range of skills, from bioinformatics, plant science, to architecture. The output of this project will be open source, the documentation and design will be available in a GitHub repository.

The Team

Dr Oscar E. Gonzalez-Navarro,
Postdoctoral researcher, John Innes Centre and Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich

Dr Ricardo H. Ramirez-Gonzalez,
Postdoctoral researcher, Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich

Ms Sreya Ghosh,
Graduate student, Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich

Ms Marcela Mendoza-Suarez,
Graduate student, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford

Mr Luis Hernan,
School of Architecture, Newcastle University

Ms Carolina Ramirez-Figueroa,
School of Architecture, Newcastle University


Project Outputs

Project Report

This project is due to report in 2018.

Project Proposal

Original proposal and application

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Project Resources


Header image: Wax on wheat leaves (NRP-146) by Cristobal Uauy and Andrew Davis, John Innes Centre, Norwich. Shared under CC BY 4.0 through the Norwich Research Park Image Library.