Plant scientists are speeding up the search for new crop varieties in the world's biggest Plant Accelerator at Urrbrae. Premier Mike Rann opened the $30 million "super greenhouse" at the University of Adelaide's Waite Campus today. He said the hi-tech facility would play a "crucial role in increasing the quality, quantity and reliability of our food crops". Plants move along 1km of conveyor belts through climate-controlled "smarthouses". They are watered and sprayed. Five imaging stations capture different types of information about each plant: leaf temperature, leaf water content, soil water content, overall plant growth and health. Director, Professor Mark Tester, said the aim was to "unlock the power of plant genomics, using new technologies to look at how plants grow". From here. The paragraph I have bolded made me laugh, for some reason. I think it's just that the thought of plants travelling along a conveyor belt caught me off guard in a silly mood :P Other links/story angles here and here.