North Carolina researchers are trying to improve the marketability of the state’s vegetable plants by using a newly constructed greenhouse operation.

North Carolina ramps up research at greenhouse centerNorth Carolina State University is using its $340,000 Plants for Human Health Institute Kannapolis, N.C., greenhouse complex to study fruit and vegetable varieties.

The 10,000 square feet of greenhouse research space helps businesses that can rent the space for research projects facilitate relationships with the campus’ researchers, according to a news release.

Constructed a mile from the institute, researchers are studying study broccoli and strawberries in the greenhouses but plan to work with other plants as well.

The center’s scientists want to discover and deliver new plant-based solutions to advance human health, according to the release.

“Our goal is to capture the best characteristics from multiple broccoli plants — great flavor or cancer-fighting properties, for example — and combine them via traditional breeding into one ‘super broccoli,’” Allan Brown, an institute applied molecular geneticist, said in the release. “The new greenhouses play a critical role by providing additional lab space in a controlled environment, which should accelerate the research.”