Building Address: 2731 Pillsbury Circle (show on map)
Building Abbreviation: PHY
Building Number: 070
The official name of the four-story Phytotron is the Southeastern Plant Environment Laboratories. The plant is paired into two units that operate cooperatively: the NC State unit and the unit at Duke University. A phytotron is defined as a facility in which plants can be grown and studied under widely varying environmental conditions ranging from desert heat and drought to Alpine cold and jungle humidity. The official purpose of the laboratories, as defined in the dedication ceremony, is to research the basic influence of environment on primary growth processes in plants.
At the time of its construction, only five other phytotrons existed in the world — one in California, the others in Russia, Australia, France and Japan. Construction was made possible by grants from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the National Science Foundation and contributions from tobacco companies and the two universities. Costs for operating the NC State unit are subsidized by grants from the National Science Foundation.