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Fifteen years of forest tree biosafety research in Germany

M Fladung   , H Hoenicka

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 126-130 (2012)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0619-005
Published: Jun 13, 2012 - Copyright © 2012 SISEF

Review Papers

Collection/Special Issue: COST Action FP0905
Biosafety of forest transgenic trees and EU policy directives
Guest Editors: Cristina Vettori, Matthias Fladung


Since beginning of 1990, several projects on biosafety research were initiated in Germany with genetically modified plants. Germany was also one of the first countries active on biosafety research with genetically modified trees (GMTs). An EU-funded project coordinated by the Institute of Forest Genetics (Johann Heinrich von Thuenen Institute, Grosshansdorf), from 1994 to 1997, was the first project of this kind in Germany. In the frame of this project, transgene stability was studied under greenhouse conditions in different transgenic aspen clones. A high degree of transgene expression stability was found in transgenic lines, however, gene silencing was detected in some transgenic plants. In Germany, the jump of the GMTs from the greenhouse to the field was initiated in 1996 by the Institute of Forest Genetics (Grosshansdorf), when the first field trial with genetically modified (GM) poplar was approved for five years. In the year 2000 and in cooperation with the University of Tuebingen, the same institute established a second field trial with GM poplar to study possible horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from the transgenic poplar into mycorrhizal fungi. No HGT was detected in those studies. Two further national funded projects on phytoremediation and status of mycorrhizal fungi in GMTs under field conditions were run by the University of Freiburg on 2002 - 2004 and 2003 - 2005. Topics of national funded biosafety research projects on GMTs released to the field but as well on greenhouse grown plants were transgene stability, genetic containment, transgene influence on mycorrhizal and phytopathogenic fungi, generative and vegetative propagation capacity, and horizontal gene transfer.

  Keywords


Genetically Modified Trees, GMTs, GM Poplar, Field Trial, Risk Assessment, Mycorrhiza, Phytopathogenic Fungi, Horizontal Gene Transfer, Gene Stability

Authors’ address

(1)
M Fladung
H Hoenicka
Johann Heinrich von Thuenen Institute, Institute of Forest Genetics, Sieker Landstraβe 2, D-22927 Grosshansdorf (Germany)

Corresponding author

Citation

Fladung M, Hoenicka H (2012). Fifteen years of forest tree biosafety research in Germany. iForest 5: 126-130. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0619-005

Academic Editor

Gabriele Bucci

Paper history

Received: Jan 24, 2012
Accepted: May 23, 2012

First online: Jun 13, 2012
Publication Date: Jun 29, 2012
Publication Time: 0.70 months

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