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Scientific Colloquium Agricultural biotechnology - risk/safety assessment, impact assessment and importance for a bio-based economy

We are honoured to invite you to the Scientific Colloquium Agricultural biotechnology - risk/safety assessment, impact assessment and importance for a bio-based economy that will be hosted by the Julius Kühn-Institut, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants (JKI) in the UNESCO world heritage town of Quedlinburg, Germany, on the 22nd till the 24th of June 2016.

Over the centuries, agricultural biotechnology developed a broad spectrum of options for food, feed, biomaterials, and energy production. It encompasses a range of scientific techniques used to improve plants, animals and microorganisms, including bioinformatics, microbiology, molecular genetics, biochemistry, plant physiology, and molecular biology.
Plant breeding for improvement of plant-derived products has been performed for thousands of years. Crossing of superior plants obtained by selection breeding has been for a long time the only possible method to improve cultured plants. Traditional breeding techniques have been complemented since the last century by conventional mutagenesis, translocation breeding and intergeneric crosses leading to a more sophisticated exploitation of the existing natural genetic variation.

With the development of genetic engineering in the 1980s, plant breeding made a movement from cisgenic to transgenic approaches resulting in transgenic plants in which genes from non-crossable organisms can be introduced by different transformation techniques. Since then the development of breeding techniques progressed rapidly resulting in much more sophisticated methods to create plants with novel traits, summarized as New Plant Breeding Techniques. Especially the genome editing and modification techniques are tools for sequence-specific changes in the plant genome. These techniques enable breeders to introduce a single point mutation or a new DNA sequence at a specific location in the plant genome, thereby circumventing the negative side effects of conventional mutagenesis. Like any other technology, agricultural biotechnology has economic and social impacts. Since their introduction, crops improved using biotechnology have been used safely. As biotechnology continues to evolve, factual and open public discourse is vital to define the role agricultural biotechnology should play in our society.

The Scientific Colloquium on the occasion of retirement of Prof. Dr. Joachim Schiemann will focus on the following aspects of Agricultural biotechnology: risk/safety assessment, impact assessment and importance for a bio-based economy. The following topics will be addressed:

  • Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies;
  • Plants as production platform;
  • Risk/Safety and impact assessment;
  • Social implications.

In a final Round Table experts will discuss “A paradigm shift in the interpretation: technology-based or trait/product-based risk assessment and regulation of Crop Genetic Improvement Technologies – or both?”

We are looking forward to welcome you in Quedinburg.

Dr. Georg F. Backhaus, President Julius Kühn-Institut


Colloquium menue






In case of questions concerning the colloquium please contact:

Joachim Schiemann

Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), Quedlinburg, Germany
Phone: +49 3946 47 503


If you need help concerning the registration, please contact:

Klaus Minol

Genius GmbH,

Darmstadt, Germany