Citrus Tree Vaccine Research | Built-in Plant Grow Chamber

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About this Article
Silvec Biologics, a pioneering company dedicated to eco-friendly tree immunisation solutions, sought the expertise of Biora to help create a customised habitat in their existing premises for their Citrus Tree Vaccine Research. Learn how Biora offered a customised solution for their project.
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Cutting-edge research regarding the defence and immunization against viruses is not only imperative for the health and safety of humans, but for plants as well.

As society slowly escapes the panic of COVID-19 thanks to medical advancements, plants are fighting their own viruses. Unfortunately, trees are being decimated at an unprecedented rate with almost no species not under increasing threat from emerging pathogens.

Silvec Biologics, a pioneering company dedicated to eco-friendly tree immunization solutions, has taken up the mantle to combat this threat, beginning with research. Biora, a global leader in controlled environments, has played a crucial role in supporting Silvec’s ground-breaking research.

Designing a Plant Grow Chamber for RNA Therapy Research

Trees worldwide are facing an unprecedented threat from emerging pathogens, resulting in devastating consequences for various species. In Florida, citrus trees are experiencing a severe decline with over 70% of trees rendered unproductive due to an invasive bacterium. To address this crisis, Silvec embarked on a mission to develop RNA therapies for plants, requiring highly specific testing conditions. Silvec’s research concentrated on the cultivation of tobacco and citrus trees, with the ultimate objective of inoculating citrus trees in both California and Florida.

To meet Silvec’s requirements, Biora initially supplied a Reach-in Chamber. As the research progressed, a more advanced solution was required. Silvec made a strategic decision to implement a Built-In Plant Grow Chamber in their existing office space, avoiding the costs of relocation or construction.

These chambers are primed for swift assembly by Biora’s team of technicians and equipped with a robust structure and insulated paneling for maintaining controlled environments. Additionally, this advanced facility incorporated essential features including controlled lighting, temperature, humidity, and 24/7 monitoring. The design of this unit was further refined to incorporate multi-tier shelving with adjustable racks, enhancing its functionality and increasing the amount of space available for plants.

In a strategic move to accommodate the growing demands of Silvec’s research, a 28-foot unit was requested, allowing for the cultivation of 50% more plants than previously grown in-house. This comprehensive approach not only addressed specific lighting needs but also optimized the spatial capacity for enhanced productivity in Silvec’s research endeavours.

WIC with Plants 2

The Solution

  • Create a customized habitat for Silvec’s research
  • Commitment to eco-friendly tree immunization solutions aligned seamlessly
  • Replacement of Silvec’s existing laboratory with an  optimal controlled environment for experimentation.

Benefits of a Biora Built-In Plant Grow Chamber

Silvec opted for a built-in chamber to seamlessly integrate with their existing office space. This strategic choice not only spared them the expenses associated with office relocation or construction but also allowed them to effortlessly achieve the controlled environment required for their operations.

The Built-In Chambers offer a proven and precise solution for maintaining controlled environments, making them a perfect fit for use within Silvec’s current facility. Crafted in Dallas, one of Biora’s three manufacturing sites, these modular rooms are delivered to the site, ready for immediate assembly by Biora’s expert team of technicians.

The chambers boast a robust structure, featuring insulated paneling ensuring the maintenance of optimal internal conditions. Equipped and engineered specifically for plants at various grow stages. Chambers are customized during the design and manufacturing process to suit client requirements, and can even be built in around existing research or live laboratory equipment.

Biora Essential Features

Biora took the following design factors into consideration to assist with the research facility’s needs:

  • Airflow: Fresh air is introduced to the grow chamber through various speed fans for up to 10 ACH. Air exchange can be halted automatically to support CO2 enrichment. MERV filtration is standard on all Biora
    units, with HEPA filtration as an optional upgrade.
  • HMI Control: Sterilisation Fresh air is introduced to the grow chamber through various speed fans for up to 10 ACH. Air exchange can be halted automatically to support CO2 enrichment. MERV filtration is standard on all Biora units, with HEPA filtration as an optional upgrade.
  • Insulation:  All surfaces of the Biora Built-In Growth Chamber are constructed of insulated aluminium panels, composed of polyurethane foam core. With a high thermal insulation capacity and standard
    R-Value of 28; the panels meet the most demanding temperature control requirements.

Customised Lighting Adjustments

A pivotal requirement for Silvec’s research was the precise control of LED lighting intensity, which needed to be adaptable for various projects. In response to this, Silvec proposed a solution that allowed for the modification of both the distance to the growth canopy and the number of lights, providing increased flexibility in lighting

Given the specific lighting needs for tobacco plants and citrus trees (150 μmol for tobacco and 450 μmol for citrus trees) Biora tailored the unit accordingly.

The top three tiers were equipped with 150 μmol lighting for tobacco cultivation, while the bottom tier featured fixed 450 μmol lighting to cater to the requirements of citrus tree growth.


"Being a plant research facility, we could not have carried out our experiments successfully without the two growth chambers."

Collaborative Solutions

Silvec sought the expertise of Biora, a renowned provider of controlled environments, to create a customized habitat for their research. Silvec’s commitment to eco-friendly tree immunization solutions aligned seamlessly with Biora’s capabilities, making them the ideal partner for this critical endeavour. Recognizing the necessity for a replacement of their existing laboratory, Silvec sought to establish an optimal environment
for experimentation.

The collaboration between Silvec and Biora exemplifies a successful synergy between environmental stewardship and cutting-edge technology. By providing Silvec with tailored controlled environments, Biora has played a pivotal role in advancing tree vaccine research and contributing to the global efforts to safeguard our ecosystems against emerging pathogens.

Key Takeaways

  • RNA therapy research aims to protect plants and trees from harmful pathogens and bacteria
  • Built-in Plant Grow Chambers allow for precise control over environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, CO2 and light
  • Customizable and technologically advanced designs are driving the future of plant research

How Can We Help Your Project?

Contact us today to find out the endless possibilities and functions of Biora custom-built chambers.
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