WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue University trustees have approved plans for a $6.3 million Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility. The 7,300 square-foot building will be used for analyzing plant improvement research.

It will be located near the Life Science Plant and Soils Laboratory on the West Lafayette campus. Construction is set to begin in a year and be complete in January 2018.

Dean of Agriculture Jay Akridge says "phenotyping involves measuring the physical characteristics of plants – such as leaf area and height – to help identify the most desirable traits to introduce into new crop varieties. This facility, when combined with our facility under construction at ACRE, will give us truly state-of-the-art research and teaching capacity in an area that will lead to tremendous gains in creating improved plants to feed a growing global population."

The school says it has recently investment more than $20 million into its plant sciences research and education through its College of Agriculture.

During meetings on Friday, trustees also approved the naming of a new 28,000 square-foot Agronomy Center Automated Phenotyping and Seed Processing Laboratory. The Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center moniker is in recognition of $4 million investments from the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council. The facility is set to open early this summer.