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
Intended release of genetically modified poplar trees with changed biomass production properties and water use efficiency into field experiments during 2015-2019

Proposed period of release:
15/04/2015 to 14/09/2019

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?
Not known

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
hybrid aspensalicaceaepopuluspopulus tremula x populus tremuloides-
hybrid aspensalicaceepopuluspopulus trichocarpa L.

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
The aim of the field experimental GMO releasing is a morphological and physiological analysis of genes which take a part in various biological processes: biomass production, cell wall composition, water use efficiency, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
In the future, application aim of the project is production of wood, paper and ethanol (bio-fuel) using plants confer higher pathogen resistance and biomass production and reduction in the use of plant protection toxic chemicals.
The experiments which are conducted are the continuation and extension of analysis performed during previous release.

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:
Based on stable transformation using Agrobacterium tumefaciens T-DNA regions from pCAMBIA and pH7GWIWG2(I) vectors were introduced into poplar genome. Depends on genetics changes T-DNA includes cDNA sequences of analyzed genes which generates silencing signal, cDNA in sens orientation to obtain genes overexpression and sequences of gene promoters fused to reporter genes to monitor specific genes expression in different plant tissues.
pCAMBIA – vectors originally comes from CAMBIA Institute, Australia -,
pH7GWIWG2(I) - vectors based on Gateway technology. Widely used in bacterially -mediated plant transformation. Vectors 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 vectors were introduce into poplar genome. T-DNA contains: selective marker carries resistance to kanamycine or higromycine, one of the reporters genes (GUS, GFP, LUC). 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 plasmids – pCAMBIA or 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, overexpression or tissue promoter localization.

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:
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 or based on tissue localization of reporter genes activity. 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:
Releasing site – Experimental Field WOLICA; Department of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology;
Nowoursynowska street 92/100, 02-130 Warsaw, province mazowieckie, Poland

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

4. Relevant data regarding previous releases carried out with the same GM-plant, if any, specifically related to the potential environmental and human health impacts from the release:
do not concern

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 or overexpressed, 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 do transfer 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. Genetically Modified 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:
Genetically Modified Poplar plants have changed fallowing phenotypic features: resistance to higromycine, expression one of the reporter genes GUS, GFP, LUC and changes in analysis gene expression profile (silencing, overexpression, promoter analysis). 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 kanamycine and higromycine resistance genes in GMO do not induce any negative consequences to human or animals life. Analysis 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:
01/01/2015 00:00:00