Facilities and Resources

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Students in the Plant Biology Section have access to myriad of resources to assist them throughout their educational journey. Some of the most important and influential student experiences come from exposure to and collaboration with engaging and field-leading faculty. A broad range of research resources are available to Plant Biology faculty, postdoctoral associates, and students. Individual faculty members have laboratories equipped for modern biological research. In addition, a number of core facilities are available.


Faculty members of Plant Biology are located in several buildings. These include Emerson Hall; the Plant Science Building, which housed some of the most famous plant biologists of the Twentieth Century; the Boyce Thompson Institute with its imposing physical plant and extensive support facilities; and the spectacular new L. H. Bailey Hortorium that includes extensive laboratories and one of the country's top ten university herbaria. The department has joint faculty in the Biotechnology Building and will also have supporting resources in the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, housed in a new building designed by noted architect Richard Meier and connected to Plant Science by a tunnel to allow free movement of plants (and ideas) over five buildings, even during the winter months. In spite of the distribution of faculty among different facilities, they are collectively within easy walking distance along Tower Road, a major campus artery.

Biological Collections

The Bailey Hortorium Herbarium collection is one of the largest university-affiliated collections of preserved plant material in North America. It includes Cornell's Wiegand Herbarium, which was merged with BH in 1977. The combined herbaria now number approximately 860,000 specimens of algae, bryophytes, and vascular plants.

The Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection, one of the largest of its kind, holds over 134,000 pieces. It includes catalogues from the United States, Canada, and many other countries.

The Paleobotany Fossil Collection includes materials from the diverse history of plants. Vascular plant remains from the Carboniferous, Cretaceous, and Tertiary ages are part of the collection. This material has been acquired from various geographical regions around the United States and the world.

Computational Solutions

The Computational Biology Service Unit provides research, software, and hardware support for computational biology applications. Assistance in the design and implementation of computational solutions is available.

DNA, Proteins, and Gene Expression

The Biotechnology Resource Center performs services like DNA sequencing, molecular marker analysis, protein sequencing, and proteome analysis.

The Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility in the van Wijk lab has three modern mass spectrometers, including LTQ-Orbitrap and Q-TOF mass spectrometers, both interfaced with nanoLC. The facility also has various robotic instruments for proteomics.


Mann Library offers a wealth of information for users through its large collection of online resources, including E-Journals and electronic reference tools. In addition, nearly 800,000 print volumes are available, making Mann's one of the top library collections in agriculture, life sciences, and human ecology in the United States today. The steady influx of current material, combined with Mann's important historical collections, support the research, teaching, and extension programs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and provide a strong basis for scholarship in interdisciplinary areas across the University.

The Bailey Hortorium Library is a collection of approximately 30,000 volumes of botanical books, journals, and reprints, representing the personal library of Liberty Hyde Bailey combined with the library of the Wiegand Herbarium at Cornell University.


Microscopy facilities are located in the Microscopy, Imaging, and Fluorimetry Facility and the Nanobiotechnology Center. Users may perform light microscopy, electron microscopy, confocal and epifluorescence microscopy, and two-photon fluorescence microscopy using state-of-the-art equipment. Personal instruction in operating the microscopes is available at each facility.

Plant Growth and Transformation

Plant growth facilities include greenhouses, fully controlled walk-in growth chambers, and small growth chambers. Most of these facilities are located in the Guterman Complex, the Tower Road Plant Science Complex, and Emerson Hall (funding provided by NYSTAR), which is attached to the Plant Science building.
The CALS Plant Transformation Facility (PTF) supports the plant biology research of Cornell faculty by making transgenic plants of time-consuming or hard-to-transform species with a particular focus on New York State crops. With the explosion of interest in gene editing technologies, much of our work involves performing CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome modification. 

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