Research and development on transgenic trees differs from such work carried out on herbaceous model systems first in that it necessarily involves field trials if data on aspects of the mature plant are required. Second, in contrast particularly to field tested transgenic agricultural crops, GM tree field trials are bound to be extended with the same plant individuals over longer than one single vegetative period and can last many years.

Given this, and taking into account the fact that in all cases a large amount of work has to be done before beginning any work beyond the test tube stage in the growth room and a potted plant in a greenhouse, the development of field trials and field releases worldwide is expected to be an indicator for overall development in the field of forest biotechnology.

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