Contained Research Facility

The Contained Research Facility (CRF) provides a secure environment for research on invasive plant pests; those known to occur in California and those that have yet to arrive. These plant pests, including arthropods, plant pathogens, nematodes, and weeds, pose huge potential losses for California agriculture, threaten trade of agricultural products, threaten natural ecosystems, and can damage urban landscapes. Examples of current threats include Asian citrus psyllid, huanglongbing (or citrus greening), Citrus Leprosis Virus, and the European grapevine moth. The CRF is the first of its kind in the western United States. This facility provides researchers with the opportunity to investigate invasive plant pests that otherwise could not be studied under normal laboratory conditions. The facility is designed to ensure a highly controlled and contained research environment that does not allow the release of experimental organisms to the environment.

Research at the CRF may focus on

  • Factors involved in plant pathogen transmission, with emphasis on the host plant, pathogen and vector, to discover short and long term management strategies;
  • The basic biology or life history of invasive plant pests to better understand factors involved in pest outbreaks, including pathways of introduction, risk of establishment, and possible mechanisms for expansion of the range of the pest;
  • Candidate biological control agents to manage invasive plant pests, such as arthropod predators, insect parasitoids, herbivorous organisms, and microbes;
  • Invasive plant pests that have newly arrived in California
  • Invasive plant pests of interest that have not yet arrived in California
  • Plant pests under quarantine restrictions, with permission from the appropriate regulatory agency.

The CRF offers laboratory, greenhouse, and growth chamber space to UC researchers and their collaborators on a project by project basis.  Please contact us for more detailed information.