iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Early flowering and genetic containment studies in transgenic poplar

H Hoenicka, D Lehnhardt, O Polak, M Fladung   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 138-146 (2012)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0621-005
Published: Jun 13, 2012 - Copyright © 2012 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: COST Action FP0905
Biosafety of forest transgenic trees and EU policy directives
Guest Editors: Cristina Vettori, Matthias Fladung

Despite of the immense potential of gene technologies for tree breeding, release of genetic modified trees is still very rare. Biosafety concerns have hitherto limited application of gene technologies. The potential risks of transgenic trees, in particular transfer of recombinant DNA into the gene pool of a given species via vertical gene transfer, have been motive of concern. Biosafety research may allow avoiding potential risks of this technology. However, the evaluation of strategies for prevention of vertical gene transfer, probably the most important concern toward transgenic trees, has been hindered by the long time they require to reach the reproductive phase. We tested different strategies for promoting early flowering in poplar, aiming the development of a system for biosafety studies on gene containment. Early flowering poplar containing the 35S::LFY or HSP::FT gene constructs allowed first approaches for the faster evaluation of gene containment. However, some drawbacks, e.g., disturbed vegetative growth and flower development, still limit their potential application on biosafety research. A non-transgenic hybrid aspen showing a short vegetative phase was successfully used for the evaluation of the PrMALE1::STS sterility gene construct.


Tree breeding, Biosafety, Gene Technology, Hybrid aspen

Authors’ address

H Hoenicka
D Lehnhardt
O Polak
M Fladung
Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut (vTI), Intitute of Forest Genetics, Sieker Landstr. 2, D-22927 Großhansdorf (Germany)

Corresponding author


Hoenicka H, Lehnhardt D, Polak O, Fladung M (2012). Early flowering and genetic containment studies in transgenic poplar. iForest 5: 138-146. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0621-005

Academic Editor

Gabriele Bucci

Paper history

Received: Jan 24, 2012
Accepted: May 23, 2012

First online: Jun 13, 2012
Publication Date: Jun 29, 2012
Publication Time: 0.70 months

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