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
Aspen as model system

Proposed period of release:
01/06/2013 to 31/12/2017

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
Umeå University, Department of Plant Physiology;

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
hybrid aspensalicaceaepopuluspopulus tremula x populus tremuloides-
european aspensalicaceaepopuluspopulus tremula

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
This application consists of up- and downregulation of 21 different genes (27 constucts) with Populus genes involved in regulaltion of autumn phenology (and one case an oat ortholog to a Populus gene), 3 of the genes have a more general effect in transcription, plus in addition up- and downregulation of all genes present in aspen. The traits that could have been modified (by the 27 constructs) are in particular timing - and extent - of bud set, growth arrest, hardiness development, senescence etc. In the case of all aspen genes, all possible traits are included (e g growth and nutrient uptake, resistance towards biotic and abiotic stress, reproduction (e g flowering time, germination and seedling establishment, capacity for vegetative propagation) and potential toxicity for humans or animals

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:
Seven different vectors are used 1) pK7GWIWG2(I), 2) pK2GW7, 3) pPCV812-LMX5-Gateway 4) pGWB2, 5) pHellsgate8 and 12, 6) pANDA35HK and 7) pPCV702.

Genes introduced are in each case one endogenous aspen gene (cis-gene) either overexpressed under the control of a consitutive promoter. In addition, marker genes are carried over from the cloning vectors. There are 1 and 2) neomycin phosphotransferase NPT-II driven by the Nos-promoter; 3 and 7) a hygromycin resistance gene (HPT) driven by nopaline syntase promotor (pNos) and bla (β-lactamase) with replicon from pBR322; 4) NPT-II driven by nopaline syntase promotor (pNos) and HPT driven by the 35S promoter; 5) NPT-II driven by the Nos-promoter, and a chloramphenicol resistance gene - non-functional in plants - located in an intron that is spliced out 6) again NPT-II and HPT.

The 20 Populus genes codes for photoreceptors, circadian clock components and regulators of phenology, downstream of the circadioan clock. The genes are phyA, LHY, TOC1, EBI1 and EBI2, ZTL, FKF1, GI, FT1, CO2, miRNA156, PRR7, AIL1, FIE, MSI1, MSI2, TEM1, TEM2, MED-18, MED-25A and MED-25B.

Concerning all aspen genes it is - obviously - all aspen genes with all their functions.

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
Agrobacterium-mediated transformation

7. If the recipient or parental plant is a forest tree species, describe ways and extent of dissemination and specific factors affecting dissemination:
Aspen is windpollinated and with wind-dispersed seeds, and can also propapagate from suckers.

Experimental Release

1. Purpose of the release:
The aim of the release is to perform basic research on aspen and understand the functions of all genes in aspen by up- and downregulating them and study the performance of the transformants in the field. This invoved, in a general sense, all aspects of aspen biology but in particular autumn phenology.

The clones that we use for transformation have no commercial interest in Sweden, so none of these lines are planned to be commercialized, although we hope of course that in the longer perspective, this would be important to aid both traditional tree breeding and biotechnology

2. Geographical location of the site:
Våxtorp, Laholm, Sweden, but in the coming years also a location close to Umeå

3. Size of the site (m2):
Less than a hectar at each site in 2013, proably a few hectare (less than 10) in coming years.

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
Since modification of the expression levels of endogenous genes may be the most common way for evolution to generate variation in natural species, all modifications covered by this application are probably produced naturally and would therefore already have been selected for, if they had had an selective advantage. The selection marker gives to selective advantages under natural conditions

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
Regular inspection for early detection of possible flowering, removal of suckers and the field surrounded by a fence.

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
17/04/2013 00:00:00
Consent was given for a part of the application.