FPS COST Action FP0905
Biosafety of forest transgenic trees: improving the scientific basis for safe tree development and implementation of EU policy directives
Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.
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.
The potential for unintended consequences of spread of foreign genes (via vertical or horizontal transfer) and of pleiotropic effects following transgene expression may be enhanced in long-lived forest trees. 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.