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Forests 2018, 9(8), 482;

An Assessment of the Environmental Impacts of Transgenic Triploid Populus tomentosa in Field Condition

Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Tree Breeding by Molecular Design, National Engineering Laboratory for Tree Breeding, Key Laboratory of Genetics and Breeding in Forest Trees and Ornamental Plants, Ministry of Education, College of Biological Sciences and Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
State Key Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation of State Forestry Administration, Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
Luoning County Lv Village State-owned Forest Farm, Luoning County, Luoyang 471700, Henan, China
Dongsong Township Government of Luoning County, Luoning County, Luoyang 471700, Henan, China
Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Cangzhou Municipal Forestry Seeding and Cutting Management Center, Cangzhou 061001, Hebei, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Populus tomentosa grow rapidly, but are salt susceptible. To quickly and efficiently gain new poplar breeds with better salt resistance, a DREB transcription factor derived from Atriplex hortensis was transformed into triploid Populus tomentosa by our lab, which significantly improved the salt tolerance of host plants. However, environmental impacts of transgenic plants must be assessed before large-scale cultivation in China. Here, we conducted a field trial of AhDREB1 transgenic and non-transgenic triploid Populus tomentosa to assess the impact of transgenic trees on rhizospheric soil microbial communities and allelopathic activity of leaves. No significant differences in the number of soil microbes present were detected between the transgenic lines and the non-transgenic controls. The allelopathic activity of leaves from both the transgenic and non-transgenic lines varied with sampling time, but did not differ significantly between the transgenic and non-transgenic lines. These results indicate that the impact on the environment of AhDREB1 transgenic P. tomentosa did not differ significantly from that of the non-transformed controls for the variables observed in this field trial. We also investigated the persistence of AhDREB1 genes in decomposing transgenic poplar leaf on the soil under natural conditions for five months, and our data indicated that fragments of the genetically modified DNA were not detectable in the field after more than two months. We used a triphenyl tetrazolium chloride test (TTC) (or pollen germination method) and hybridization to test the pollen viability and fertility, respectively, of the transgenic and non-transgenic trees and the results showed that the pollen viability of both the transgenic and non-transgenic trees was extremely low in 2016; the receptor plant may have been sterile. View Full-Text
Keywords: Populus; field trial; environmental risk assessment (ERA); dehydration responsive element (DRE) binding protein Populus; field trial; environmental risk assessment (ERA); dehydration responsive element (DRE) binding protein

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Guo, Q.; Lu, N.; Luo, Z.; Sun, Y.; Jin, S.; Wang, S.; Guo, Z.; Li, F.; Chen, S.; Zhang, W.; Ji, Q.; Li, Y. An Assessment of the Environmental Impacts of Transgenic Triploid Populus tomentosa in Field Condition. Forests 2018, 9, 482.

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