We are planning to build Arabidopsis growth rooms in our faculty. We have
formulated certain conditions we think are important. Since we lack
experience in this sort of thing, we would be very happy if you could
kindly read our plan, and if you have any helpful comments, please let us
know. One parameter we are ignorant about is the maximum level of airflow
we should allow. We will post a compilation of your comments to the community.
We are interested in having three independent, light tight, growth rooms
each the size of 2X6 meters. Each room will have shelves on both sides 60
cm wide, leaving a width of 70 cm walking/ working space between them. On
each side there will be three levels of shelves (flat, without holes).
Plants will be grown in plastic trays.
1. Fluorescent lamps: will be evenly distributed and will be situated 45
cms above the shelf. They will supply light at 130 Micro-Einstein at a
distance of 10 cms above the shelf (35 cms from the light source). The
difference in light intensity between different regions on the shelf will
not be larger then 30 Micro-Einstein (130+-15).
2. Incandescent bulbs: (15-25 Watt) will be evenly distributed and will be
situated 45 cms above the shelf. We aim at having a bulb every 30 cms (2
rows per 60 cm shelf). These will provide additional lighting for extended
The fluorescent and incandescent lights will be controlled separately and
we will be able to establish any photoperiod we want.
Temperature: Day/night temperatures of 20/18 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures can vary by 2 degrees in a single point, in different times,
and can vary by 1 degree in two different points in the chamber at a
certain time point. We could increase the temperature if necessary in
Humidity: We are asking that the relative humidity will be lower than 70%.
Air change: 6 times per hour with an option for stronger ventilation after
insecticide treatments. Maximum airflow in growth area?
Controls: lights will be automatically switched off if temperatures rise
above a certain threshold. An alarm will be set in this case.
Irrigation: Personnel, using a hose and adding water indirectly to a tray
containing the pots, will irrigate plants when top soil dries up.
Thanks for your time,
Dr. Alon Samach
Department of Horticulture
Faculty of Agriculture
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
P.O. box 12, Rehovot 76100, ISRAEL
Email: samach at agri.huji.ac.il