CRAG is located in a dedicated building at the campus of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), specifically designed for modern plant biology, agricultural and genomics research and that was inaugurated in 2011.
CRAG location at the UAB campus provides it with a privileged access to the academic community, and to university facilities such as libraries, experimental platforms, technical services, and social and sports amenities, that all CRAG members can use.
CRAG hosts several core units or platforms that are tailored to the needs of its different Research Programmes and scientific goals. The facilities include:
- Plant Growth
The Plant Growth Service facilitates the cultivation and growth of plants as well as of plant cells and tissues. For this purpose, CRAG is equipped with confined greenhouses, chambers for plant cultivation in soil and in vitro, and laminar flow cabinets for work under sterile conditions.
The Facility provides a suite of advanced high-throughput technologies for gene expression analysis, genotyping and other molecular genetics assays.
The service offers marker (mainly SNPs and SSRs or microsatellites) development and application for public research projects as well as private breeding programmes within a broad spectrum of plant species.
- Capillary Sequencing
The service offers the sequencing reaction, purification and analysis; running samples sequenced and purified by the customer; and genotyping (microsatellites, SNaPshot, SNP’s, SNPlex, AFLPs).
- Microscopy and Imaging Facility
The Microscopy and Imaging Facility consists of a fully equipped laboratory with advanced instrumentation for optical microscopy and microanalysis, and a laboratory to work with photo documentation, photography and different techniques related to the light detection. The service covers complete processes, from sample preparation and sectioning to observation, as well as the application of immunotechniques and in situ-hybridization techniques. The Service also has a laser microdissection platform that allows recovery of cells or cell groups, selected under microscopic control from complex tissues, for the specific molecular analysis of those cells.
A self-service bioinformatics computing cluster is maintained and available to the research community, and support is provided for software development of tools and data management.
The Molecular Data Analysis Area provides support to apply computational methods to the understanding of novel biological questions.
In addition, CRAG has a formal agreement of sharing scientific platforms with the UAB, and has also access to the technological platforms of other research centers in the area that form part of the Catalan research system (CERCA).