SECB Statement on experimental releases of genetically modified Pm3 wheat strains

The SECB has issued a Statement on these field trials. It has concluded unanimously that the experimental release applied for poses a negligible risk to humans and the environment, and can therefore be approved.

The genetically modified wheat strains contain various Pm3 alleles that provide improved resistance to mildew. The experimental release will be carried out in 2014–2018 on the protected site at Agroscope ART Reckenholz. It is a continuation of experiments performed in 2008-2011 under NRP 59, which tested 12 different Pm3 wheat strains (Pm3a, Pm3b, Pm3c, Pm3d, Pm3f and Pm3g) in the field.

A number of Pm3 wheat strains have now been developed that show increased resistance to mildew in the laboratory and the greenhouse; these strains will be tested in the field for the first time. Additionally, four Pm3 wheat strains that contain different combinations of two Pm3 alleles through crossing, referred to as “stacked” strains, will be investigated.

This is basic research on the resistance biology of genetically modified wheat. The investigation will focus on whether the effect of the resistance genes depends on the environment, and what effects the “stacked” Pm3 wheat strains (with several Pm3 alleles) have compared to the simple strains (with a single Pm3 allele).

The SECB’s Statement has particularly considered the measures that will ensure the safety of humans, animals and the environment. The SECB has concluded that the planned experimental releases represent an extremely negligible risk, and unanimously approved them.

SECB Statement of 30 April 2013 (in German)

The applications were submitted to the Federal Office for the Environment on 28 January 2013, and approved, with various conditions, by decree on 15 August 2013.

FOEN information on the experimental release

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Last edition: 06.06.2023