Environmental impact of GM crops

14 and 15 June 2007


The following topics will be discussed:

  • Biodiversity
  • Soil organisms
  • Biological control and pollinators
  • Gene flow
  • Horizontal gene transfer


Marta Cifuentes (email: martacifuentes (at) yahoo.es), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

  • A cytomolecular approach to assess the potential of gene transfer from crop wheat to wild relatives

Alan Dewar, Dewar Crop Protection Ltd, U.K.:

  • Biodiversity: Management of weeds in GM crops for environmental benefit 
  • A retrospective review of the farm scale evaluations of the environmental impact of GM crops in the U.K.: results in context

François Felber, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland:

  • Gene flow between crops and wild relatives in a risk assessment perspective for the cultivation of genetically modified plants

Roberto Guadagnuolo, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland:

  • The impact of transgene flow to the wild flora

Beat Keller, Universität Zürich, Switzerland:

  • Introductory lecture on gentechnology

Jörg Romeis, Agroscope ART, Switzerland:

  • Insect resistant transgenic crops and biological control

Christoph Tebbe, FAL - Federal Agricultural Research Centre, Braunschweig, Germany:

  • Microorganisms - Victims of genetically engineered plants (GMP) or modifiers of GMP effect on the environment? 
    • Part 1: Microbial diversity - Importance, detection and vulnaribilityhorizontal gene transfer
    • Part 2: Horizontal gene transfer in the prokaryotic world

Mike Wilkinson, The University of Wales, Aberystwyth, U.K.:

  • Quantifying risks of gene flow from GM crops on a national scale
  • Identifying hazards and evaluating scope for biocontainment

programme and pre-course assignment

The programme will consist of talks by the invited speakers, short presentations by other participants, and general discussions on specific topics.

Participants are highly encouraged to present their own work in short presentations. In the case that there are too many requests to give presentations, some participants will be asked to present posters instead.

There will be time for discussion after each presentation and there will be a round table discussion at the end of each day. To prepare for these discussions, participants will be sent selected publications on the workshop topics and will be asked to prepare at least 2 questions based on what they have read and what they heard during the presentations.

Publication list and papers (pdf documents).

general information

Dates: Thursday 14 and Friday 15 June 2007

Schedule: 8.55- 18.00. Participant's dinner on Thursday evening around 18.30.

Location: University of Neuchâtel, Unimail, Chemistry building (G, "Institut de chimie"), room B1

Credit points: 1.0 ECTS or 1.5 ECTS with presentation (category scientific activities)

Evaluation: Active participation including reading of literature.

Information: Please contact the NCCR education officer Dr. Christiane Bobillier

Travel expenses:  Doctoral programme participants and NCCR Ph.D. participants are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class). Please send the original tickets (no copies, except for the general abonnement) at the end of the terms  to Dr. Christiane Bobillier. No reimbursement for bus, taxi or car travel expenses will be paid.


This course is opened to all Ph.D. student, however priority is given to doctoral programme "Plants and their Environment" participants and NCCR Plant Survival Ph.D. students. Postdocs and diploma students are welcome depending on availability.

Maximum number of participants: 25.

Registration through the web only: closed
Deadline: 1 June 2007