Plant biotechnology research

“I see a great need for knowledge transfer”

The public debate about the use of plant biotechnology has intensified in recent years. Trial fields have been destroyed and research bodies and individual researchers are coming under increasing pressure. Some – like Nürtingen University in 2008 – have given up their research activities in this area. In April this year Germany’s minister of agriculture, Ilse Aigner, issued a ban on cultivating genetically modified MON810 maize. What does it feel like to be a young scientist conducting research into plant biotechnology under these conditions? GMO Safety spoke to Heike Mikschofsky at the University of Rostock.

Heike Mikschofsky is researching how plants can be used to produce certain substances, e.g. pharmaceutical ingredients. This involves the genetic modification of plants. In one of her projects, for instance, the aim is to get peas to produce a component of a vaccine against the rabbit disease RHD.

Dr Heike Mikschofsky, a research assistant at the Department of Agrobiotechnology, Institute of Land Use, University of Rostock.
(Video in german language)

"Acceptance and respect are very important to me. I think that different opinions and alternative ways of breeding plants should be considered and made use of."