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Crops Science Department, Teagasc CELUP, Oak Park, Carlow

Oak Park is the national centre for tillage and bio-energy crops research. The site covers 239ha and all of the main tillage and energy crops are grown, including; wheat, winter and spring barley, oilseed rape, beans, triticale, camelina, miscanthus, willow and hemp. In addition, the perennial ryegrass and while clover breeding programmes are based on-site and there are 81ha of woodland. 

The highly successful Teagasc potato breeding programme is also based in Oak Park, but in addition, uses sites as far away as Donegal to develop varieties suited to all the variations in climate in Ireland..

In addition to farming and carrying out research at Oak Park, field experiments are carried out in all of the main tillage areas of Ireland from Cork up to Meath and across into Wexford. 

There is the full range of up-to-date field experimentation and monitoring equipment and extensive glasshouse facilities including contained glasshouse facilities for transgenic research. In addition there are state of the art laboratory facilities including; dedicated cereal and potato pathology laboratories, a licensed transgenic suite and three molecular biology laboratories.

The pathology laboratories are fully resourced with all of the necessary equipment required for isolation, culturing and storage of respective pathogens. In addition, a microtitre plate reader and automatic plate (24 / 48 or 96 well) stacker is available to allow high throughput assessment of in vitro fungicide sensitivity. The molecular biology laboratories contain all necessary equipment to undertake various molecular based tasks in addition to a Light Cycler for gene expression analysis and a GS Junior 454 Sequencing Platform. A designated equipment room contains 2 x ABI Genotypers, freeze dryer, FPLC, -80C freezers, incubators, ultra and high centrifuges and to facilitate GM research, a self-contained laboratory and growth room are connected to a contained glasshouse. All laboratories have laminar flow units, autoclaves and flow hoods and are ergonomically designed to facilitate up to 12 researchers at any one time.