Biosafety of forest transgenic trees: improving the scientific basis for safe tree development and implementation of EU policy directives (Cost-Biosafety)

In contrast to agricultural plants, well-documented knowledge for GM trees is available only in a few databases. But trees differ in many features such as complex habitat, long life span, low degree of domestication in comparison to agricultural plants.

Background and Objective

The main objective of this Action is to evaluate and substantiate the scientific knowledge relevant for genetically modified tree (GMT) biosafety protocols by putting together already existing information generated in various European countries as the basis for future EU policy and regulation for the environmental impact assessment and the safe development and practical use of GMTs.


This Action will focus on four key aspects related to the biosafety of GMTs: (a) analyses of the efficiency of existing gene containment strategies to avoid or if not possible to minimize gene flow; (b) facilitate efforts to develop site-specific integration of transgenes in tree genomes to minimize variability of transgene expression and pleiotropic effects, (c) evaluate possible methods to monitor GMTs in the whole production chain, and (d) conduct socio-economic and cost/benefit analyses in relation to the use of GMTs in plantations. This Action combines multidisciplinary knowledge generated with transgenic lines of forest trees (such as, Populus spp., Pinus spp., Eucalyptus spp., Betula spp., Castanea spp., Picea spp., etc.) as well as extensive expertise in correlated topics. The information gained should contribute to strengthen the scientific basis for the execution of the EU policy directives related to transgenic trees intended for cultivation in Europe. The knowledge gained will be summarised in a book as a final output of this Action.


Involved Thünen-Partners


4.2010 - 4.2014

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished


Results 1 - 10 of 17

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  1. Kazana V, Tsourgiannis L, Iakovoglou V, Stamatiou C, Kazaklis A, Koutsona P, Raptis D, Boutsimea A, Sijacic-Nikolic M, Vettori C, Fladung M (2016) Approaches and tools for a socio-economic assessment of GM forest tree crops: factors for consideration in cost-benefit analyses. Forestry Sci 82:209-221, DOI:10.1007/978-74-017-7529-87531-1_11
  2. Custers R, Bartsch D, Fladung M, Nilsson O, Pilate G, Sweet JB, Boerjan W (2016) EU regulations impede market introduction of GM forest trees. Trends Plant Sci 21(4):283-285, DOI:10.1016/j.tplants.2016.01.015
  3. Häggman H, Sutela S, Fladung M (2016) Genetic engineering contribution to forest tree breeding efforts. Forestry Sci 82:11-29, DOI:10.1007/978-74-017-7531-1_2
  4. Vettori C, Fladung M (2016) Introduction. Forestry Sci 82:1-7
  5. Pilate G, Allona I, Boerjan W, Dejardin A, Fladung M, Gallardo F, Häggman H, Jansson S, van Acker R, Halpin C (2016) Lessons from 25 years of GM tree field trials in Europe and prospects for the future. Forestry Sci 82:67-100, DOI:10.1007/978-94-017-7531-1_4
  6. Biricolti S, Bartsch D, Boerjan W, Fladung M, Glandorf DCM, Sweet JB, Gallardo F (2016) Potential impacts of GM trees on the environment and on plant "Omics": questionnaire-based responses. Forestry Sci 82:195-205
  7. Kazana V, Tsourgiannis L, Iakovoglou V, Stamatiou C, Alexandrov A, Bogdan S, Bozic G, Brus R, Bossinger G, Boutsimea A, Celepirovic N, Cvrcková H, Fladung M, et al (2016) Public attitudes towards the use of transgenic forest trees: a crosscountry pilot survey. iForest 9(2):344-353, DOI:10.3832/ifor1441-008
  8. Kazana V, Tsourgiannis L, Iakovoglou V, Fladung M, et al (2016) Public knowledge and perceptions of safety issues towards the use of genetically modified forest trees: a cross-country pilot survey. Forestry Sci 82:223-244
  9. Gallardo F, Sánchez C, Grabowski M, Molina-Rueda JJ, Vidal N, Fladung M (2016) Soil effects of genetically modified trees (GMTs). Forestry Sci 82:155-172
  10. Häggman H, Vettori C, Pilate G, Gallardo F, Ionita L, Ruohonen-Lehto M, Glandorf B, Harfouche A, Biricolti S, Paffetti D, Kazana V, Sijacic-Nikolic M, Tsourgiannis L, Migliacci F, Minol K, Fladung M (2015) COST Action FP0905: final results. In: Vettori C, Vendramin GG, Paffetti D, Travaglini D (eds) IUFRO Tree Biotechnology 2015 Conference : "Forests: the importance to the planet and society" ; 8-12 June 2015, Florence, Italy ; Proceedings. Florenz: IUFRO, pp 169-171

Results 1 - 10 of 17

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