Notification report

General information

Notification Number

Member State to which the notification was sent

Date of acknowledgement from the Member State Competent Authority

Title of the Project
Validation of flowering time and life cycle of transgenic Westar canola lines under field conditions.

Proposed period of release:
11/01/2016 to 30/06/2017

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
Centro Nacional de Biotecnología- CSIC, ;

3. Is the same GMPt release planned elsewhere in the Community?

Has the same GMPt been notified elsewhere by the same notifier?

Genetically modified plant

Complete name of the recipient or parental plant(s)
Common NameFamily NameGenusSpeciesSubspeciesCultivar/breeding line
canolabrassicaceaebrassicabrassica napusnapus (syn. oleifera)Westar

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
Early flowering and extended life cycle, caused by expression of a circadian clock protein from Arabidopsis and a transcription factor that controls expression of the FT mobile signal. The modification includes the nptII and HPT marker genes. These plants showed early flowering and increased production in seeds, in addition to delayed senescence, under controlled laboratory conditions. After harvest, if floral stems are removed, they form new branches allowing formation of new seeds.

Genetic modification

3. Type of genetic modification:

In case of insertion of genetic material, give the source and intended function of each constituent fragment of the region to be inserted:
Lines carry two inserted genes from the donor plant Arabidopsis thaliana, i.e. a component of the endogenous clock and a transcription factor that controls cell elongation, which also acts as an activator of the FT flowering signal. Products of both genes interact at the protein level and negatively regulate each other’s activity. As a result of this antagonisticc function plants display early flowering and bigger haulms, which leads to an increased number of seeds. In addition, they remain in a juvenile stage, such that removal of the old floral stems, leads to axillary meristem activation and formation of new flowers and seeds, enabling a second harvest in the same growing season.

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
The genetic modification was obtained by transformation of canola cells with bacterial cultures of Agrobacterium tumefaciens carrying the pGWB14 plasmid with the constructs, and selection of the nptII marker gene. Lines show a unique insertion as deduced by the 3:1 segregation of the inserted genes. Expression of each of the constructs has been tested by western blot and RT-PCR analyses of the corresponding transcripts.

7. If the recipient or parental plant is a forest tree species, describe ways and extent of dissemination and specific factors affecting dissemination:
Not applicable.

Experimental Release

1. Purpose of the release:
The aim of the release is to validate the early flower behavior, bigger haulm and increased production in seeds observed under controlled laboratory conditions, in an open field. After harvesting, old floral stems will be removed to test their ability to re-grow and produce new seeds.

2. Geographical location of the site:
Municipality of Ulea, Murcia. Los Francisquetes.

3. Size of the site (m2):
1341 m2

4. Relevant data regarding previous releases carried out with the same GM-plant, if any, specifically related to the potential environmental and human health impacts from the release:
It constitutes a first release. No impact to the environment or on human health is foreseen.

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
Canola is an important oilseed crop cultivated in template areas both during winter and spring seasons. Its culture is not suitable to warmer regions due to temperatures >35ºC cause pollen infertility and lead to floral abortion, which seriously compromises productivity.
As such, it can not survive in natural habitats in southern Europe where elevated summer temperatures restrict production of seeds.
The introduced traits accelerate flowering, increase haulm size, and elevate production of seeds but do not confer increased tolerance to heat stress. Therefore, they do not confer any selective advantage under the natural environment in which the assay will be carried out.
Canola is not cultivated in the Murcia region, and therefore there is no risk of cross-contamination to nearby fields. Although the region is one of the largest national producers of different varieties of Brassica oleracea, this species is sexually incompatible with canola. A different situation occurs for culture of turnips (Brassica napa), which is also well established in the area. This species is sexually compatible, despite inter-specific hybrids have low fertility, what strongly reduces their probability of persistence. Turnip is cultivated in summer and harvested in autumn, and therefore its production will not overlap with the assay.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
The assay will be carried out during November to June. The transgenic lines will be grown intercalated with non-modified plants that will serve as a reference for the flowering time and production in seeds. These plants will be grown bordered by a perimeter of wildtype canola plants which, in addition to serve as further standard for agronomical traits, will provide a barrier to pollen dispersal. Several studies reported that canola pollen is not dispersed farer than 10 meter and it is only viable for 4-5 days. The field will be isolated by a fence and only specialized personnel will have access to it. Seeds will be collected manually and after the test is completed, the field will be treated with herbicide twice, immediately after harvest and 4 month later, to assure destruction of any germinating seed that could have been left over. It will also be controlled for the presence of any possible escapes during the following year.

Summary of foreseen field trial studies focused to gain new data on environmental and human health impact from the release:
Planning of additional trials will depend on the relevance of the results
and, in any case, will comply with a new release application.

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
Not known