Director: Dr. Ling Yuan
The mission of the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center (KTRDC) is to utilize plant-based technologies to benefit Kentucky agriculture. The focus is on the use of science, including molecular biology, genomics, plant genetic engineering, plant breeding/field research, and other advanced technologies to improve agricultural production for the benefit of Kentucky farmers. The program focuses on applied research in support of Kentucky tobacco production, the enhancement of tobacco and other Nicotiana species as a production system for plant-based products (including pharmaceuticals and industrial materials), and for discovering new plant natural products having potential for commercialization. This includes resources devoted to research on industrial hemp including variety evaluation and production research. KTRDC facilities include field plots, laboratories, greenhouses, and contained growth facilities for plant breeding, plant analysis, disease screening and genetic engineering research. The goal is to utilize these resources to preserve and strengthen agriculture in Kentucky and, in particular, tobacco agriculture. The KTRDC program emphasizes applications-oriented research designed to facilitate the development of new crop-based businesses and technologies for Kentucky agriculture.