£31m research boost

19 October 2001

£31m research boost

THE first phase of a four-year, £31m redevelopment at IACR Rothamsted research station was opened last Friday.

The glasshouses, controlled environment rooms and insect rearing facilities are part of a major project at the Herts site to accommodate work from IACR Long Ashton near Bristol and bring facilities up to international standards.

A unique 41-room insectary will aid insect studies, the controlled conditions guaranteeing year-round supply and quarantine facilities ensuring work can be done in complete safety.

"A few examples of current research are insecticide resistance mechanisms, the effects of plant odour on beetle behaviour and the effect of GM crops on beneficial insects," says entomologist Dr Juliet Osborne.

Further work will include a new 5,400sq m laboratory for chemistry, molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology. "By October 2003, we will have a co-ordinated research programme all on one site," explains Prof Brian Kerry.

"We will also have world class facilities which will allow us to grasp new opportunities and deliver science relevant to changing priorities."

Funding is from the government through the BBSRC, plus the private Sir John Lawes Trust. &#42

Dr Peter Doyle (right), chairman of the government-funded Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, lays the foundation stone of a £31m redevelopment at the Institute of Arable Crops Research, Rothamsted, Herts. The main focus is environmental work.

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