Donald Danforth Plant Science Center


Conceived as a collaborative partnership between state, academic, industry, and private stakeholders, the Donald Danforth Research Center was founded upon the vision to create a state-of-the-art, world-class center for plant and life science research. As an independent, not-for-profit institute, the Danforth Center would unite world leading experts in the fields of plant and agricultural sciences - each with strong interdisciplinary research skills. With a timely mission to feed the hungry and improve human health, and preserve and renew the environment through scientific discovery, the Center would engage in collaborations with other institutions including those of developing countries. In so doing, the Danforth Center would serve profoundly important global interests while also enhancing the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science research.

Donald Danforth Plant Growth Room
Conviron model BDW80 before plant loading at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. The BDW80 features a 50/50 lighting mix of 400 watt metal halide lamps and high pressure sodium with barriered lighting. The room features humidity control and dehumidification by chemical dryer, low temperature operation all controlled by an Argus Titan control system.


Fundamental to the Danforth Center project was a close collaboration between key stakeholders and partners. For Conviron, participation encompassed the entire life-cycle of the project – from assisting with the needs assessment and facility layout details, to working with the architects, consultants, and contractors during construction and installation. Research applications are organized around four themes:

  • Developing new materials and products in plants
  • Enriching the nutritional value in food security crops
  • Controlling plant pests and pathogens; and
  • Adapting plants for environmental stresses

The facility now houses 32 plant growth chambers and 19 custom growth rooms, all designed and supplied by Conviron.

Donald Danforth Growth House
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has the unique combination of a LemnaTech Plant Phenotyping System integrated with a Conviron Growth House.

Partnering with Conviron on this project was paramount to the success of the Danforth Center. Through the collaboration, Conviron helped transform the founders’ vision into reality helping to achieve the goals and mission of the facility. Howard Beittenmiller - Director of Facilities, Danforth Center


Since commencing operations in November of 2001, the Donald Danforth Center has contributed significantly to scientific discovery and application, technology commercialization, as well as education and training. With its extraordinary staff of scientific leaders and principal investigators, the Danforth Center has distinguished itself as one of the world’s foremost research facilities dedicated to plant science research.

Since its founding in 1998, research and development at the Center has led to profound and positive consequences for people worldwide in areas such as human health, agricultural productivity, and environmental sustainability. Additionally, unprecedented achievements have been made, and continue to be made, with the support of industry alliances, research gifts and grants, and international collaborations. With the increasing need to sustain the health and prosperity of the world’s growing population, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center stands out as a remarkable success and a renowned world leader.