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
Increased production of wood biomass by increased growth 3 - Prolongation.

Proposed period of release:
01/01/2021 to 31/12/2024

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
SweTree Technologies AB, ;

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-T89

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
This application consists of 4 different trait genes (GOIs), 3 from Hybrid aspen and 1 from Arabidopsis thaliana. To gain knowledge about which expression level, timing and localisation that gives optimal effects, it is necessary to vary the expression by putting the gene under control of different promoters. Therefore some of the genes have been put under control of different promoters in individual constructs. In total 16 different constructs. In each of the constructs one of the GOIs under the control of one promoter. All of these constructs have been selected for this trial since they indicate improved growth characteristics in greenhouse experiments.

Two different vectors were used for the construction procedure. Genes introduced from these vectors are as following:
1) p35S followed by gene of interest (GOI) and a terminator T35S, neomycin phosphotransferase NPTII resistance marker gene driven by Nos-promoter. The marker gene is necessary for selection of transformed plant cells.
2) Selected promoter followed by gene of interest (GOI) and terminator T35S, neomycin phosphotransferase NPTII resistance marker gene driven by Nos-promoter. The marker gene is necessary for selection of transformed plant cells.
It may be important to mention that independently of selected promoter each trait from each trait gene respectively is the same but the effect may vary. In this way we may find a more precise level for optimal effect.
These trait genes codes for transcription factor proteins and one enzyme involved in gibberellin synthesis.

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:
The 16 gene constructs each contains one of the 4 trait genes (GOI). These genes code for transcription factor proteins and one enzyme involved in gibberellin synthesis. The source of all GOIs are hybrid aspen or Arabidopsis thaliana. The intended function of the GOIs is to increase growth.
Genes and fragments included in the T-DNA that is transferred into the plant from each vector are:
Gene/fragment (source)

1) Terminator t35S (Cauliflower mosaic virus), attB2 recombination site (Gateway Technology), Gene of interest, GOI (Hybrid aspen), attB1 recombination site (Gateway Technology), Ω leader (Tobacco mosaic virus), Promoter, p35S (Cauliflower mosaic virus), Promoter, pnos (Agrobacterium), Kanamycin marker gene, npt-II (E. coli), Terminator, tnos (Agrobacterium).

2) AttB4 recombination site (Gateway Technology), promoter (Cauliflower mosaik virus or Eucalyptus), attB1 recombination site (Gateway Technology), Gene of interest GOI (Hybrid aspen or Arabidopsis), attB2 recombination site (Gateway Technology), Terminator T35S (Cauliflower mosaic virus), Promoter pnos (Agrobacterium Nopaline Plasmid), Kanamycin marker gene, npt-II (E. coli), Terminator, tnos (Agrobacterium)

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:
Hybrid aspen is wind polinated and produce wind-dispersed seeds. Hybrid aspen can also propagate from suckers.

Experimental Release

1. Purpose of the release:
The purpose of the release of these trees is to study growth and physiological properties as well as wood properties for increased knowledge about how these genes affect growth properties. In the future this experience may lead us to better yield varieties. These new tree varieties may be either GMO trees or trees developed using marker assisted breeding or site-directed mutagenesis.

The trees will be inspected regularly for variations in growth and morphology as well as biotic and abiotic stress tolerance. All changes will be quantified. If the change in overall morphology or biotic/ abiotic stress is significant compared to wild type plants we will decide whether further investigation is necessary.
These trees, based on the T89 clone of hybrid aspen, will not be commercialised.

2. Geographical location of the site:
Våxtorp in Laholms municipial

3. Size of the site (m2):
about 12000 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:

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
The aim of the release of these GM-plants is to show improved growth properties in the field for some of the lines tested. High growth in aspen trees may be considered as an selective advantage in natural environments. The source of the modified genes is hybrid aspen or Arabidopsis thaliana. The genetic variation, and variations in growth among different natural populations of aspen or Populus species is high and we assess that none of the improvements will lead to increased environmental risk. In addition we will perform reliable control measures to avoid dissemination of the GM-plants (see E).
Local environmental impact on the site is in the same level as plantations of non transgenic hybrid aspen. Evaluation of the proteins, over expressed in the GM-plants, did not show any significant risk of allergenic cross-reactivity, according to FAO/WHO 2001.
All modifications in the application include nptII or hpt antibiotic marker gene, which are expressed in the GM-plant. The resistance to antibiotic will result in environmental benefits of the plant, only in the presence of high levels of the antibiotic compound, which is not the case in nature. Accordingly we assess that the presence of the marker genes do not add any environmental impact.
Positive environmental effects of this trial are that it will lead an increased understanding of biomass production and possible direct ways to increase biomass production. Increased biomass production could lead to many positive effects for the environment, for example a reduced dependence of fossil carbon for energy and chemicals.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
Regular inspection for early detection of flower induction. Normally aspen flower within 8-20 years, well after this experiment will be terminated. It is possible to distinguish floral buds from vegetative buds before bud burst. If any line will show tendency of flowering all lines of corresponding construct will be eliminated. The site will be surrounded by a fence and a security zone will prevent suckers to spread out of or into the site. After harvest the remaining roots will be eliminated and the site will be inspected yearly for at least another three years.

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:
16/10/2020 00:00:00