2 articles listed at this time:
Genetically Modified Organisms
Tree Improvement in Alberta
Last Review/Updated: Dec. 10, 2001

Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council – Position Paper

Position Paper – Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)

GMO Definition
Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council

GMO, or genetically modified organism, refers to an organism that, through human intervention in a laboratory, has had its genome, or genetic code, deliberately altered through the mechanical insertion of a specific identified sequence of genetic coding material (generally DNA) that has been either manufactured or physically excised from the genome of another organism. Genetic modification may be used to alter any of a wide range of traits, including insect and disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, tissue composition, and growth rate.

Current Practice

No GMO trees have been planted in operational forest plantations on Crown lands in Alberta.

Council Position on GMO Trees

Council Recognizes the theoretical potential of GMO trees in reforestation;
Council recognizes that performance of GMOs and their impact on forest ecosystems are poorly understood;
Therefore, in view of the potential risks currently associated with reforestation with GMO trees, the Council does not recommend use of GMOs for reforestation at this time;
Council recognizes that research is ongoing and will improve our understanding of the performance and impact of GMOs;
Council will review its recommendation periodically.

Tree Improvement in Alberta

Updated: July 14, 2003

Position Paper – Tree Improvement in Alberta
Tree Improvement
Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council
Tree improvement may be defined as stand yield enhancement obtained through control of parentage in combination with good silvicultural practices.

Using traditional methods employed in plant and animal breeding programs, the best individuals are selectively bred together or vegetatively propagated to produce more valuable offspring. Traits considered in selection of parents may include health, growth rate, form, and wood properties.

This process is applied in Alberta in several programs in each of several native species. Following extensive and long-term testing, several exotic species may eventually be considered for inclusion in tree improvement programs, either as parents of hybrids or as pure species.

Program development generally involves the following sequence, but programs vary considerably in intensity, speed, size and complexity.