Biosafety Research Objectives

The use of living and fertile organisms such as genetically modified (GM) plants and insects, and macroorganisms for biological plant protection offers opportunities for efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. These novel organisms can also be associated with environmental risks, however. Introduced invasive species also represent a challenge for agriculture and the agroecosystem.

We investigate potential positive and negative effects of novel organisms in agriculture on biodiversity and ecological processes. Our experimental research using selected model systems is conducted in the laboratory, greenhouse and field.

Our goals are:

  1. To develop methods for assessing the effects of genetically modified plants and insects, macroorganisms for plant protection, and invasive species on agricultural production and the agroecosystem;
  2. To apply these methods for the evaluation of the opportunities and risks posed by novel organisms in agriculture;
  3. To develop risk-assessment concepts;
  4. To process and publish research results for science, regulatory authorities, the media, and the general public.


New Breeding Technologies Bring Opportunities and Risks for Beneficials

Plants produced using bioengineering methods can simplify agricultural practices and reduce pollution from chemical pesticides. For the sustainable use of these plants, side-effects impacting on biodiversity must be kept to a minimum. Agroscope investigates the ecological effects of plants with new traits, with a special emphasis on beneficial arthropods.


Using Biodiversity to Combat Pests in Permanent Crops

Hedges, tree stands and flower strips often exhibit greater species diversity than cultivated land. Using model systems, Agroscope investigates how agricultural landscapes should be structured so as to allow the suppression of pests. In this way, Agroscope promotes the quality of landscapes, a high level of biodiversity, and hence the competitive production of high-quality plant produce and products.


Further Information

Protected Site

Site for Field Trials of Genetically Modified Plants