Navigation Links
VIB applies for second poplar field trial
Date:2/1/2013

Ghent, 1 February 2013. VIB has asked the federal government for a license to perform a second field trial with genetically modified poplars. The wood from these trees has a slightly different composition, meaning that it can be converted to sugars in a more efficient and more environmentally friendly manner. One of the aims of the field trial is to evaluate how the trees perform under realistic outdoor conditions. Another aim will be to expose the wood from the poplars to empirical conversion trials at a pilot factory scale. The field trial will take place at the ILVO Wetteren field trial site and falls under the "Ghent Bio-Economy" focal point of the University of Ghent.

The study framework

The field trial forms part of the research into options for using trees with an altered wood composition as a raw material for sustainable, bio-based products and bio-energy. Bio-plastics and biodegradable materials are currently made primarily using starch from crops such as corn. Alternatives are being sought to make the process more energy-efficient and to reserve fertile soil and food crops for food production. Trees may form an alternative, as their wood forms a possible raw material. Poplars have a number of interesting characteristics for this purpose: They grow quickly and they also grow well in boggy soil that is less suitable for food production.

Which genetic modification?

Wood consists primarily of three components: cellulose, hemi-cellulose and lignin. The first two components cellulose and hemi-cellulose are sugar polymers. These are the sugars that form the raw materials for the production of bio-plastics and biodegradable biomaterials. Bio-fuel can also be produced by means of fermentation. The third component lignin gives the wood more sturdiness. It must be degraded in order to release the sugar molecules. The degradation of lignin is technically complicated and an environmentally unfriendly process as a result of the use of energy and chemicals such as caustic soda. The genetically modified poplars for this new field trial have an altered lignin composition, making it easier to degrade. They were created at the INRA in France as part of an EU financed research project to which also VIB participated. The results of the new field trial will be particularly interesting in comparison to the current poplar field trial in Zwijnaarde. In contrast to the new tress, the genetically modified poplars in Zwijnaarde mainly have less lignin. These poplars will undergo their first real harvest at the end of this winter.

Changes in lignin composition also exist in nature

Changes in the lignin composition in wood also occur in nature, but they are very rare. In recent years, a black poplar was discovered in Europe and a pine was discovered in the United States that have acquired similar changes in wood composition as a result of natural mutations. Transferring these mutations to fast-growing, modified trees via classic breeding is an option, but is difficult and time-consuming. The genetic modification of the poplars will produce results much more quickly. Scientific know-how is also acquired about screening of natural populations of trees in future for their potential use in a bio-based economy.

The license procedure

The license application for the new field trial has been declared complete and acceptable. The Federal minister Onkelinx, as well as the state secretary Wathelet, will decide on the dossier with input from the Flemish minister Schauvliege. Advice will be obtained from the Bio-Safety Council in this matter. The general population can view the dossier via the website of the Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment and in the town halls of Melle and Wetteren. This is part of the public enquiry that will open from 5 February to 7 March 2013.


'/>"/>
Contact: Kris Van der Beken
kris.vanderbeken@vib.be
32-473-783-435
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study reveals significance of second trimester markers for Downs syndrome
2. Second-hand smoke increases risk of invasive meningococcal disease in children
3. Developing second skin military fabric to repel chemical and biological agents
4. GOCEs second mission improving gravity map
5. Second most common infection in the US proving harder to treat with current antibiotics
6. Nanoengineers can print 3D microstructures in mere seconds
7. Dinosaur die-out might have been second of 2 closely timed extinctions
8. Evermedia Group Announces 375% Increase in Revenue for Second Quarter 2012
9. Aware, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2012 Financial Results
10. NOAA plankton surveys, second longest in the North Atlantic, add to new global effort
11. U-M forecasters predict second-smallest Gulf of Mexico dead zone
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/2/2017)... March 2, 2017 Summary This ... understand Merck KGaA and its partnering interests and activities ... Description The Partnering Deals and Alliance since ... activity of one of the world,s leading life sciences ... upon purchase to ensure inclusion of the most up ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... DORTMUND, Germany , February 28, 2017 ... ... Amsterdam from 14 to 16 March, ... to destination, and show how seamless travel is a real benefit ... Materna has added biometrics to their passenger touch point solutions to ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... -- With the biometrics market to exceed $10 ... that innovative and agile startups must incorporate into ... changing competitive landscape: multifactor authentication (MFA), point-of-sale (PoS), ... "Companies can no longer afford to cut corners ... Pavlakis , Industry Analyst at ABI Research. "Pairing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... Global Strategic Business Report" report to their offering. ... This report analyzes the ... Million. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2014 ... secondary research. The report profiles 25 companies including ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), an ... and cancer vaccines, today announced participation at the following ... William Blair and Maidstone Life Sciences conference "Cancer Immunotherapy ... New York, NY . Agenus will ... at 9:40 am: Robert B. Stein , M.D., ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics ... DCVax® personalized immune therapies for solid tumor cancers, ... $7.5 million financing it announced last Friday, March ... to several institutional investors securities totaling 28,843,692 shares, ... share, and 10,000,000 shares of Class C Warrants ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Ellen ... the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) as a 2017 Women of Innovation® finalist. Matloff ... of Innovation Awards Dinner. , The dinner recognizes women accomplished in science, technology, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: