Lab Equipment List for Agricultural Biotechnology Research

Agricultural biotechnology research is essential for feeding a growing population, ensuring food security, and addressing climate change challenges. Utilizing life sciences, this field aims to create more nutritious and sustainable crops through genetic modification for improved pest and disease resistance and resilience to environmental stresses.

Critical to this effort are advanced lab technologies, including PCR machines and centrifuges, which facilitate genetic studies and the development of genetically engineered crops.

This research enhances our understanding of plant-microorganism interactions, enabling the production of crops suited to various environmental conditions. This article will outline key laboratory equipment in agricultural biotechnology, aiding in the compilation of essential lab tools.

Excedr leases all of the equipment listed here, so if you’re interested in acquiring new or refurbished equipment for your AgBio research, we can help.

Core Laboratory Equipment for Agricultural Biotechnology

AgBio research is possible thanks to a core group of laboratory equipment. This equipment helps scientists manipulate, analyze, and understand the genetic makeup of plants, aiming to improve crop yields, nutritional value, and environmental sustainability.

Whether creating drought-resistant crops, enhancing nutritional profiles, or fighting plant diseases, the work begins with the ability to accurately manipulate and analyze genetic material.

Let’s delve into some of the instruments and systems we believe are core to the day-to-day operations and, ultimately, groundbreaking experiments in agricultural biotechnology labs.

PCR Machines & Thermal Cyclers

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines, also known as thermal cyclers, are pivotal in agricultural biotechnology. They provide the means to amplify specific DNA sequences, making it possible to study genes of interest in detail, identify genetic variants, and create genetically modified plants. 

These devices are fundamental for cloning, genotyping, and validating genetic modifications, serving as the first step in many genetic engineering workflows.

Centrifuges & Microcentrifuges

Centrifuges are indispensable for processing plant tissue samples and extracting valuable genetic material. Spinning samples at high speeds separates cellular components, allowing researchers to isolate DNA, RNA, and proteins. 

Microcentrifuges, tailored for smaller volumes, are especially useful for quick spins and precise work with limited quantities of material, essential for molecular biology protocols.

Electrophoresis Systems & Blotting Equipment

Gel electrophoresis systems play a crucial role in analyzing DNA fragments, offering insights into the genetic architecture of plants. By running DNA through agarose gels, researchers can verify the size and purity of amplified genetic material. 

Subsequent blotting techniques, such as Southern blotting, facilitate the transfer and detection of specific DNA sequences, providing a deeper understanding of gene structure and function.


Spectrophotometers are key to quantifying nucleic acids and proteins in plant samples. Accurate measurement of DNA, RNA, and protein concentrations is critical for ensuring the success of cloning, transformation, and other genetic engineering experiments. 

These instruments allow scientists to assess the quality and quantity of genetic material before further analysis or manipulation.

Cultivation & Tissue Culture Equipment

The ability to cultivate and genetically modify plants under controlled conditions is extremely important in AgBio. This involves altering plants' genetic makeup and observing how these changes manifest in living tissues. The cultivation and tissue culture phase relies on specialized equipment to nurture plant cells, tissues, and sometimes whole plants from embryonic to maturity.

This equipment, designed for and dedicated to cultivation and tissue culture, allows researchers to bridge the gap between genetic engineering at the molecular level and practical applications in the field. 

By providing the right conditions for growth and development, these tools enable the production of genetically modified plants that can withstand environmental stresses, resist pests and diseases, and contribute to sustainable agricultural practices.

Let’s look at some of the equipment critical to cultivation and tissue culture maintenance.

Incubators & CO2 Incubators

Incubators play a vital role in agricultural biotechnology labs, providing a controlled environment for the growth of microbial cultures used in genetic engineering processes and the germination and growth of plant tissues. 

CO2 incubators, in particular, are essential for plant cell and tissue culture, maintaining the precise carbon dioxide levels, temperature, and humidity required for optimal cell growth and differentiation. These conditions are critical for ensuring the successful development of genetically modified plants.

Tissue Culture Supplies

Tissue culture, a method of cloning plants aseptically, is fundamental to agricultural biotechnology. Sterile petri dishes, flasks, bioreactors, and various media support plant tissue growth and multiplication. 

These supplies enable researchers to propagate plants with desired traits, study gene function, and produce clones that retain the genetic alterations introduced through engineering techniques.

Shakers & Stirrers

Microbial fermentation is a crucial process in agricultural biotechnology, often used to produce compounds beneficial for plant growth or to develop biological control agents. Shakers and stirrers are indispensable in maintaining liquid cultures, ensuring even distribution of nutrients and gasses throughout the culture medium. 

This equipment facilitates the growth of microbial cultures under optimal conditions, which can then be applied in various biotechnological interventions in agriculture.

Analytical & Diagnostic Instruments

Understanding the biochemical and genetic composition of plants and mastering cell culture techniques is crucial for advancing research and development in AgBio. Analytical and diagnostic instruments, alongside cell culture equipment, play a pivotal role in characterizing plant materials, assessing genetic modifications, and ensuring the desired traits are expressed correctly.

This equipment enables precise measurement and analysis, providing the data necessary to drive crop development and sustainability innovations. The integration of cell culture methods allows researchers to propagate cells or tissues under controlled conditions, further facilitating the study of genetic alterations and their impacts on plant growth and productivity.

These instruments are essentially the eyes and ears of researchers, offering a window into plants’ molecular and biochemical world, and can help scientists ensure that genetic modifications achieve their intended goals, paving the way for crops that meet the global challenges of food security and sustainable agriculture.

Here’s an overview of some of the analytical and diagnostic tools used in agricultural biotechnology labs.


Spectrophotometers are indispensable in the agricultural biotechnology lab for quantifying plant samples’ nucleic acids, proteins, and other biochemical compounds. These instruments measure the absorbance or transmittance of light by a sample at specific wavelengths, allowing researchers to accurately determine the concentration of DNA, RNA, and proteins. 

This data is essential for various applications, from cloning and genetic engineering to protein expression studies.

Chromatography Systems (HPLC)

High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) systems are critical for separating, identifying, and quantifying individual components within complex plant extracts. HPLC can analyze plant hormones, toxins, and metabolic products, providing insights into the plant’s biochemical pathways and the effects of genetic modifications. 

This level of analysis is vital for developing crops with enhanced nutritional profiles, increased resistance to pests and diseases, and improved overall performance.

Real-Time PCR (qPCR) Machines

Quantitative PCR (qPCR) or real-time PCR technology is crucial for analyzing plant gene expression levels. By quantifying DNA or RNA sequences as they are amplified, qPCR machines offer a dynamic view of gene activity within genetically modified plants. This technology enables researchers to confirm the presence and quantify the expression of inserted genes, assess off-target effects of genetic modifications, and study stress response mechanisms at the molecular level.

Gel Electrophoresis & Blotting Equipment

Gel electrophoresis systems are used to separate DNA, RNA, and proteins by size, visually assessing genetic material and protein composition. Following electrophoresis, blotting techniques—such as Southern blot for DNA and Western blot for proteins—allow for the transfer and specific detection of these molecules. 

This combination of equipment is fundamental for verifying successful genetic modifications and understanding the molecular basis of trait expression in plants.

General Laboratory Support Equipment

Beyond the specialized genetic manipulation and analysis tools, a well-functioning agricultural biotechnology lab requires a range of general laboratory support equipment. These instruments and devices don’t directly interact with genetic material but play essential roles in preparing samples, maintaining a sterile environment, and facilitating routine laboratory tasks. 

Their presence contributes significantly to research workflows’ efficiency, safety, and effectiveness. Let's take a look at some of the support equipment critical to agricultural biotechnology labs.

Autoclaves & Sterilization Equipment

Sterility is paramount in agricultural biotechnology to prevent contamination that could skew experimental results or compromise the health of plant cultures. Autoclaves use steam under pressure to sterilize laboratory tools, glassware, and media, ensuring all materials are free from microbial contaminants. 

Other sterilization equipment, such as UV light sterilizers and hot air ovens, also help maintain aseptic conditions critical for tissue culture and microbiological assays.

Water Baths & Hot Plates

Precise temperature control is necessary for many biochemical reactions and sample preparations. Water baths provide uniform heating for reactions requiring specific temperatures, such as enzyme digestions and ligations. At the same time, hot plates are indispensable for quickly heating solutions and assisting with media preparation for plant cultures. 

Both types of equipment ensure that temperature-sensitive processes are conducted under optimal conditions.

Pipettes, Glassware, & Lab Consumables

Accurate liquid measurement and transfer are fundamental to nearly every experimental protocol in agricultural biotechnology. Pipettes, ranging from manual single-channel to electronic multi-channel models, offer precise volume control for adding reagents or transferring samples. 

Durable glassware, beakers, flasks, graduated cylinders, and a steady supply of lab consumables, like Petri dishes, test tubes, and pipette tips, are essential for day-to-day laboratory operations.

Shakers & Magnetic Stirrers

Shakers and magnetic stirrers facilitate the mixing and incubating of liquid cultures and solutions, ensuring homogeneous conditions for microbial growth or chemical reactions. Adjustable speed and temperature controls allow these devices to support various applications, from gently agitating tissue culture flasks to vigorously stirring nutrient media for fermentation.

Advanced Technologies in Agricultural Biotechnology Labs

Agricultural biotechnology is a field at the forefront of scientific innovation, constantly evolving with the adoption of advanced technologies. These sophisticated tools enhance the precision and efficiency of research and open new avenues for exploration and discovery in crop improvement, pest resistance, and sustainability

Integrating these technologies into agricultural biotechnology labs enhances the field’s capacity to tackle complex challenges in food production and environmental sustainability. By leveraging the power of NGS, flow cytometry, capillary electrophoresis, and cryopreservation, researchers can push the boundaries of what’s possible in crop science and plant genetics, driving forward innovations that will shape the future of agriculture.

Here’s a look at some cutting-edge technologies becoming indispensable in agricultural biotechnology laboratories.

Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Platforms

NGS platforms have revolutionized genetic research, enabling rapid sequencing of entire genomes at significantly lower costs than traditional methods. In the context of AgBio, NGS is used to identify genetic variations, understand plant-pathogen interactions, and accelerate breeding programs for crops with desirable traits such as drought resistance or enhanced nutritional content.

This technology provides comprehensive insights into the genetic makeup of plants, facilitating targeted modifications and the development of superior agricultural products.

Flow Cytometers & Cell Analyzers

Flow cytometry is a powerful technology for analyzing the physical and chemical characteristics of cells or particles in a fluid as they pass through a laser. In agricultural biotechnology, flow cytometry and cell analyzers can be used to sort plant cells, assess gene expression patterns, and measure the effects of genetic modifications at the cellular level. 

These instruments allow for high-throughput analysis, making it possible to screen large populations of cells quickly for specific traits.

Capillary Electrophoresis Systems

Capillary electrophoresis systems offer a high-resolution method for separating DNA, RNA, and proteins based on size and charge. This technology is instrumental in agricultural biotechnology for genotyping, mutation analysis, and quality control of genetic modifications. 

With its speed and efficiency, capillary electrophoresis is becoming a preferred method for analyzing plant genetic material, supporting the rapid development of genetically engineered crops.

ULT Freezers & Cryopreservation Equipment

Preserving genetic material and plant tissues at ultra-low temperatures is crucial for long-term research and breeding programs. ULT freezers, deep freezers, and cryopreservation equipment enable the storage of seeds, DNA, RNA, and cell lines under conditions that maintain their viability and genetic integrity. 

This equipment is essential for biobanks and repositories in agricultural biotechnology labs, safeguarding valuable genetic resources for future use.

Pioneering the Future with Advanced Lab Equipment in Agricultural Biotechnology

In conclusion, agricultural biotechnology combines the intricate science of genetics with the goals of sustainable agriculture and food security. The sophisticated laboratory equipment that enables scientists to manipulate, analyze, and ultimately harness the genetic potential of plants is often central to achieving these goals.

Each piece plays a pivotal role in advancing agricultural biotech research, from tools like PCR machines and electrophoresis systems to advanced technologies like next-generation sequencing.

Investing in high-quality, reliable lab equipment is necessary for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in crop science and plant genetics. And as the field continues to evolve, keeping pace with technological advancements will be essential for laboratories aiming to contribute significantly to agricultural innovation.

AgBio, when the research is done correctly, promises to revolutionize our approach to food production and environmental conservation and lead the next green revolution powered by the insights and discoveries made possible by cutting-edge lab equipment.

Take the next step in advancing your research. Contact Excedr today to explore leasing options for lab equipment for agricultural biotech research and unlock the full potential of your scientific endeavors.

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