South Africa invests in indoor plant breeding facilities

Highly automated growing platforms will help scientists to develop better crops.

The Department of Science and Innovation in South Africa has awarded R50 million (US$2.66 million) to build two facilities where plants can be grown under controlled climatic conditions.

The indoor plant growing platforms, called plant phenotyping facilities, will allow scientists to study how different growing conditions affect plant characteristics. For example, they can evaluate how plants’ roots, stems, and leaves develop under conditions that mimic future climate scenarios that might include extreme temperatures or rainfall.

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