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Policy reports 24.10.2006

New techniques in plant biotechnology

(061024-02)

Biotechnology offers great opportunities for plant breeding. New techniques for rapidly selecting or inducing the desired characteristics are being developed.  Nonetheless, with the advance of technology, the distinction between genetic modification and other plant biotechnological techniques gradually blurs. In addition, such technological developments also outgrow the GMO legislation. At times it is not
clear whether the products of some techniques are subject to the prevailing GMO legislation.

This advisory report, which to some degree has a informative character, discusses six new techniques: ‘reverse breeding’, agroinoculation, grafting on genetically modified rootstock, gene silencing by DNA methylation, the use of oligonucleotides, and specific mutagenesis with homologous recombination.