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HudsonAlpha builds research greenhouse

Leaders at the research institute say this will help Alabama increase education and economy in agriculture.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — HudsonAlpha plans to change the game in agriculture with a new greenhouse under construction!

Scientists and students say they spent time working on the DNA and genomes of plants and crop plants. The new 6,000 square foot greenhouse will give them more space and increase their impact on crop plants.

Leaders and researchers broke ground on the extension of the campus for this greenhouse, five months ago.

"We have the ability to be able to grow up these large sets of plants and evaluate them from the genetic side to see what kinds of beneficial traits they have that could then be combined in breeding applications, to be able to improve the crop plants that are in the ground here in Alabama," said Jeremy Schumtz, HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigator. 

Researchers say this will help Alabama increase education, along with agricultural growth in the economy. "One of those goals is really to try to get younger people all the way as young as sort of K-8, and then all the way up through the graduate student side of getting people involved in plant science, and being able to think about that as a career path here in Alabama," said Schmutz.

"[Greenhouse] helps us here in Alabama with agriculture, because one of the things that would really improve agriculture here in Alabama, is to be able to select and customize plants out for Alabama conditions," added Schmutz.

Some of the research for plants currently include peanuts, sorghum - a type of grain, barley, and perennial grasses.

"So one of the things that we can work on is to try to optimize our plants to be able to survive and still produce during these drastic rain events that we have now in Alabama," said Schmutz.

Leaders at the research institute say this will help Alabama increase education and economy in agriculture.

"If we have more control over developing those plants and deploying to the Southeast, then we have more control to plant them and use them in downstream applications to be able to increase things like food industry here in Alabama," said Schmutz. 

Educators say the greenhouse construction is expected to be complete by next spring.

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