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:
01/01/2018 to 31/12/2022

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
UmeƄ 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-

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 (28 constucts) with Populus genes involved in regulaltion of autumn phenology (in one case an oat ortholog to a Populus gene), 3 of the genes have a more general effect in transcription. The traits that could have been modified are in particular timing - and extent - of bud set, growth arrest, hardiness development, senescence etc.

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:
Six different vectors are used 1) pK7GWIWG2(I), 2) pK2GW7, 3) pGWB2, 4) pHellsgate8 5) pHellsgate12, 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) NPT-II driven by nopaline syntase promotor (pNos) and HPT driven by the 35S promoter; 4 and 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. 7) a hygromycin resistance gene (HPT) driven by nopaline synthase promoter (pNos) and bla (beta-lactamase) wirh replicon from pBR322.
The Populus genes codes for photoreceptors, circadian clock components and regulators of phenology, downstream of the circadian 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. One phyA gene from oat is also included.

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 genes in aspen by up- and downregulating them and study the performance of the transformants in the field. This invoves, 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 perhaps also a location close to Umeå.

3. Size of the site (m2):
Less than one hectar ongoing. We also apply for permet to, if we want, plant new fields with the same constructs in the coming years. The total area will be less than 10 hectars.

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:

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 no 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.

Summary of foreseen field trial studies focused to gain new data on environmental and human health impact from the release:

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
13/12/2017 00:00:00