GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Research Rooting, insect resistance
Field trials USA 15
Approval None
Perspectives No commercial utilisation of GM walnuts is expected in the long term.



Commercially, walnuts are mainly grown in China and the USA. Other producing countries are, among others, Iran, Turkey, Ukraine, France and India.



Walnut trees are mainly grown for their nut harvest. The fruits are consumed dried or are processed to foodstuffs and food ingredients:


  • The wood of walnut trees is attractive and very hard. Since walnut trees are rarely grown for their wood, there is only a limited supply and it is mainly used in high-quality articles, mostly as veneer.
  • The green husk of the walnuts contains dyes and tanning agents and can be used for dyeing hair and textiles.


Gene technology: aims of research and development

Plant development

  • Modified root formation: natural walnut trees have a sturdy, deep-reaching taproot, but weaker secondary root system. An aim of these gene modifications is to increase the root system in the upper layers of the soil for a better uptake of nutrients.

  • Modified flowering time, to allow a more effective harvest.

Agronomic traits

Resistance to pests

Resistance against pathogens


Field trials with GM Walnuts

USA 15
Period 1989-2008
Traits Rooting, changed flowering time, insect resistance


 GMO Database
GM Food and Feed: Authorization in the EU
GMO Database: Contains information on every GM plant that has been approved or is awaiting authorisation in the EU.
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