Notification report

General information

Notification Number

Member State to which the notification was sent

Date of acknowledgement from the Member State Competent Authority

Title of the Project
Application of genetically modified poplar trees (Populus trichocarpa L.) with changed biomass production properties into field experiments during 2010-2014

Proposed period of release:
15/09/2010 to 14/09/2014

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Nowoursynowska 166, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland;

3. Is the same GMPt release planned elsewhere in the Community?

Has the same GMPt been notified elsewhere by the same notifier?

Genetically modified plant

Complete name of the recipient or parental plant(s)
Common NameFamily NameGenusSpeciesSubspeciesCultivar/breeding line
poplarsalicaceaepopuluspopulus deltoides

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
The aim of the project is functional analysis of poplar genes: LSD1, PAD4, EDS1, CAO1, MPK4 and new genes discovered in LSD1 regulon. These genes are responsible for biomass production, cell wall composition, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. According to our goal genetically modified poplar lines with changed traits were led out. Changing in genes expression was provided based on stable plant transformation using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Silencing of above mentioned genes were introduced into poplar genome based on RNAi. Transgenic Poplar tree plants have changed also phenotypic feature: resistance to higromycine (htp II). Poplar trees have never been genetically modified before.

Genetic modification

3. Type of genetic modification:

In case of insertion of genetic material, give the source and intended function of each constituent fragment of the region to be inserted:
pH7GWIWG2(I) - vector based on Gateway technology. Widely used in bacterially -mediated plant transformation. Vector comes from Plant System Biology, Gent University, Belgium - M., Inze, D., Depicker, A. „Gateway vectors for Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation”. Trends Plant Sci. 2002 May;7(5): 193-195.
Based on Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation T-DNA region from above mentioned vector is introduced into poplar genome. T-DNA contains: selective marker carries resistance to higromycine and cDNA sequences of analyzed genes which generates silencing signal. Expression of these genes is under control of 35S CaMV promoter. End of transcription is under control of polyadenylation signal which comes from nopaline synthase.

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
Transformation of poplar tissues was done based on Agrobacterium-mediated method. Soil microbes were genetically modified and prepared to poplar tissue infection. Agrobacterium contains proper binary plasmid – pH7GWIWG2(I). During infection T-DNA regions from vectors is cut and transfer into plant tissue. T-DNA possess cDNA sequences of genes of our interest in proper orientation to obtain genes silencing and selective marker – htpII gene which confers resistance to higromycine.

7. If the recipient or parental plant is a forest tree species, describe ways and extent of dissemination and specific factors affecting dissemination:
Populus is a genus of 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae. Trees with fastigiated (erect, columnar) branching are particularly popular, and are widely grown across Europe and southwest Asia. On many areas fast-growing hybrid poplars are grown on plantations for pulpwood. Poplar is widely used for the manufacture of paper. It is also sold as inexpensive hardwood timber, used for pallets and cheap plywood, more specialized uses include matches and used in researches like a model plant. Poplar is a allogamy tree plant. Species do not cross with other natural poplar species. Poplar does not produce generative organs untill 9-12 year old.

Experimental Release

1. Purpose of the release:
Above mentioned field experiments with GMO belong to basic analysis. The aim of the experimental releasing GMO is functional analysis of poplar genes which take a part in various biological processes: biomass production, cell wall composition, water use efficiency, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, signal transduction, photorespiration and photosynthesis mechanisms. Conclusions and observations can be observed upon changes of transgenic plants phenotypes. Comparing to non transgenic poplar plants transfer of transgens into plants genome can change breeding ability and survival of transformants in a field conditions. Changes in poplar genes expression and releasing GMO into environment do not enhance selection predominance and do not influence negatively on other organisms.

2. Geographical location of the site:
Experimental Field WOLICA; Department of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology;
Nowoursynowska street 92/100, 02-130 Warsaw, mazowieckie voivodeship, Poland

3. Size of the site (m2):
1200 m2

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
The aim of experiments is to analyse of the genes function of transgenic poplar lines. Based on stable Agrobacterium-mediated transformation poplar genes involved in regulation of responses to various biotic and abiotic stresses were silenced, what means its native function is disturbed. Environmental factors have the same effect on transgenic and non transgenic poplar tree plants. Moreover transgenic poplar lines with silenced genes could be more sensitive to surrounding factors. Genes which are modified in poplar, naturally exist in the genome, however we transferred into poplar genome new marker genes (antibiotic resistance) from other species. 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. Our research has large economical, social and educational potential. Applications derived from this research program may profit plant breeding and biofuel processing companies, pharmacological companies and plant improvement institutions. Thus both producers and consumers should benefit from the proposed innovations with potential economical and quality-of-life benefits for large sections of society.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
We plan experiments in one localization:
Experimental Field WOLICA; Department of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology; Nowoursynowska street 92/100, 02-130 Warsaw, province mazowieckie. Area is closed, fenced and monitored 24 hours per day. No entry for unauthorized persons. Transgenic Poplars will growth on area 1200 m2. We will keep the distance from other cultivars at least 20 meters.

Summary of foreseen field trial studies focused to gain new data on environmental and human health impact from the release:
Transgenic Poplar tree plants have changed fallowing phenotypic features: resistance to higromycine and changes in analysis gene expression profile (silencing). Transgenes are stable and integrated into Poplar genome. Transgenes inheritance from generation to generation obey Mendel’s rules. Analysis genes take a part in significant plant life processes and do not pose any risk to human life and environment. Comparing to non-transgenic poplar plants transfer of transgenes into plants genome can change breeding ability and survival of transformants in a field conditions. Moreover transgenic poplar lines with silenced genes are more sensitive to surrounding factors. None of the transgenes code toxic substances. As far as presence of the higromycine resistance genes in GMO do not induce any negative consequences to human or animals life. Transgenic poplar lines are vegetative propagated using in vitro cultures technology. Then after one year young poplar trees are transfer into field when through the next 9-12 years its do not produce generative organs. It is not possible to spread transgenic poplar trees in natural environment. Potential allergen influence is not also possible.

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
31/12/2010 00:00:00