Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Parker, P. E.
item Gottwald, Timothy
item Levy, L.
item Cook, A. Z.

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2005
Publication Date: 11/7/2005
Citation: Parker, P., Gottwald, T.R., Levy, L., Cook, A. 2005. Construction and deployment of a mobile containment greenhouse/laboratory. Second International Citrus Canker and Huanglongbing Workshop, Orlando, FL, November 7-11, 2005. P12, p.77.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Functional field laboratory and greenhouse space is often at a premium in emergency programs. To help provide mobile field facilities for the Citrus Canker program, a collaborative project between USDA-ARS and USDA-PPQ was initiated. The concept of a mobile containment greenhouse/laboratory (MCGL) was originally developed by two ARS scientists, T .Gottwald and S. Garnsey, 9 years ago. A prototype unit was built and has functioned as a containment greenhouse/laboratory for citrus canker studies in the Miami area for a number of years. The usefulness of this concept became apparent and improvements to the original prototype design were proposed for a second generation prototype. The new design, a self-contained, semi-mobile, computer-controlled unit, was constructed by USDA, APHIS, PPQ. The 3 inch double walls of the greenhouse are constructed of custom extruded aluminum framing sheathed with double layer Lexan panels. Environmental parameters (temperature, lighting, CO2, and watering) are continually monitored and controlled by a computer data acquisition and feedback control system. Basic laboratory equipment includes: a refrigeration/freezer, biosafety cabinet, incubator, autoclave and a HEPA air filtration unit. An emergency generator functions automatically as a power back-up and can also provide full electrical power in the absence of local electricity. Other features include a holding tank for effluent, metal diamond plate floors, central channel drain, irrigation/fertigation system for the greenhouse plants and external field plots. The bid for construction of this unit was awarded in September of 2003 and actual construction of the greenhouse laboratory commenced later that year. The unit, completed as to contract specifications, was delivered to the APHIS, PPQ Aircraft Equipment Operations group (AEO) in Edinburg, TX in April of 2004. AEO provided the skills and labor to accomplish the final outfitting of the MCGL. This second generation prototype Mobile Containment Greenhouse/Laboratory is currently being used for citrus canker work, but more importantly, can be replicated and rapidly deployed as needed by APHIS as outbreaks of new high consequence quarantine pests occur in the U.S.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page