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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Biosafety assessment of transgenic poplars overexpressing xyloglucanase (AaXEG2) prior to field trials


We performed biosafety assessments of transgenic poplars prior to field trials. Constitutive expression of the Aspergillus aculeatus xyloglucanase in Populus alba increased the cellulose content and specific gravity of its stem, the leaves of which were visibly greener, thicker, and smaller than those of the wild-type plant. Although the young transgenic poplars grew faster than the wild type in a growth chamber, there was no distinguishable difference in growth between the poplars when they were placed in a special screened greenhouse. Allelopathic tests showed that the transgenic poplars do not produce harmful substances. Based on all the biosafety assessments and the scientific literature on poplar species, we came to the conclusion that transgenic poplars probably do not disturb the biological diversity of the surrounding environment, even when they are submitted to field trials.


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Taniguchi, T., Ohmiya, Y., Kurita, M. et al. Biosafety assessment of transgenic poplars overexpressing xyloglucanase (AaXEG2) prior to field trials. J Wood Sci 54, 408–413 (2008).

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Key words

  • Transgenic poplars
  • Xyloglucanase
  • Biosafety assessment
  • Greenhouse
  • Field trial