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Biotron facility to launch agriculture research into the future


Ottawa, ON – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the University of Western Ontario and the University of Guelph are collaborating to establish the Biotron, a state-of-the-art research facility. The facility will support research into the impact of climate change and other environmental stressors on plants, insects, and micro-organisms, as well as research focussing on industrial bioproduct development.

Due to open in late 2007, the Biotron will allow researchers to construct entire mini-ecosystems to study complex interactions that occur between biological organisms in air, soil and water. The Biotron and AAFCs recently constructed growth chambers at the Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre (SCPFRC) in London will be jointly governed by a research advisory board comprised of representatives from the universities, industry partners and government.

“This collaboration represents a great achievement in university-government collaborative research,” says Norm Huner, the Biotrons scientific director and Canada Research Chair in environmental stress biology at Western. “Research conducted at the Biotron will lead to better productivity and protection of Canadian agriculture in response to environmental conditions.”