B/PL/10/02-08: Assessment of poplar genes relevant for biomass production

GMTW-2071 , updated 15 Mar 2011
B/PL/10/02-08
authorisation given
2010 - 2014
1200 m2
analysis of gene functions

Tree species

Populus deltoides
Eastern Cottonwood
Populus trichocarpa
Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa
Black cottonwood
western balsam poplar
California poplar

Notifier & developers

Locations of this trial

All trial locations with the same GM trees

Description

The description of the GM tree events in the notification is vague. It is unlcear whether several different events are released. The poplar species given in the title of the notification is different than the one specified later. The statement that "Poplar trees have never been genetically modified before." in the section describing the GM tree is clearly wrong.
The information about the Environmental Impact and Risk Assessment states that "Poplar does not produce generative organs until 9-12 year-old, therefore probability of natural spreading of transgenes and antibiotic resistance genes to the corresponding wild species is equal to zero." and "It is not possible to spread transgenic poplar trees in natural environment." These statement is questionable because (1) in other trials with GM poplar earlier flowering was observed, and (2) the transgenes incl. antibiotic resistance can also be spread through vegetative reproduction.
The description about environmental impacts then moves on to state that "[...] both producers and consumers should benefit from the proposed innovations with potential economical and quality-of-life benefits for large sections of society." Such considerations clearly have no relevance for "environmental impact and risk assessment."