VIB seeks more poplar trials
Belgian research institute VIB (Ghent) is seeking permission from national regulators to expand its existing trial programme of genetically modified poplars. The new trial would involve poplars modified to produce lignin that is more easily degraded than normal. The change is intended to improve the trees’ suitability for use as a source of starches such cellulose and hemi-cellulose for the production of bio-plastics and biodegradable biomaterials, VIB notes. As well as assessing agronomic performance, VIB intends to run wood conversion trials at a pilot factory scale. The field trial would take place at the ILVO Wetteren field trial site. VIB‘s other GM poplar trial is of trees with a reduced lignin content.