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
Application for the release into the environment of potato lines with improved resistance to Phytophthora infestans, 2011 and 2012

Proposed period of release:
01/04/2011 to 31/10/2012

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
BASF Plant Science GmbH, Carl-Bosch-Strasse 38, D-67056 Ludwigshaven GERMANY;

3. Is the same GMPt release planned elsewhere in the Community?
Germany; United Kingdom; Netherlands; Sweden; Czech Republic;

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

If yes, notification number(s):
B/CZ/07/01; B/DE/05/174; B/DE/06/183; B/DE/07/191; B/GB/06/R42/01; B/NL/05/03; B/NL/07/07; B/SE/05/8615;

Other notifications

Genetically modified plant

Complete name of the recipient or parental plant(s)
Common NameFamily NameGenusSpeciesSubspeciesCultivar/breeding line
potatosolanaceaesolanumsolanum tuberosumtuberosumP800

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
- improved resistance to Phytophthora infestans
- tolerance to Imidazolinone herbicides, mediated by the ahas gene as selectable marker gene to identify transgenic cells in tissue culture

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:
- T-DNA borders, pTiT37, for incorporation into plant chromosome
- ahas gene, Arabidopsis thaliana, imidazolinone tolerance in plant material
- Promoter and terminator from nopaline synthase gene, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, gene regulation
- Resistance genes Rpi-blb1 and Rpi-blb2, Solanum bulbocastanum, with endogenous promoters and terminators for improved resistance to Phytophthora infestans

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
Plasmid-derived DNA was introduced into the potato lines by Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer technology using a binary vector system. This is standard technology for potato transformation.

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 purpose of the release is to assess the tolerance of the genetically modified potato lines to Phytophthora infestans under Belgian climatic and soil conditions.

2. Geographical location of the site:
The release site will be located in the municipality of Wetteren.

3. Size of the site (m2):
The field size will be less than 1500 m2 per year.

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:
Releases of the same potato plants have been conducted in the Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic, United Kingdom and Germany. No adverse impacts on the environment or human health have been recorded in any of the trials.

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
The genetically modified potato lines contain two NBS-LRR-genes, Rpi-blb1 and Rpi-blb2, from Solanum bulbocastanum for conferring improved resistance to Phytophthora infestans. Many conventional potato varieties also contain NBS-LRR-genes that have been introgressed from wild Solanum species. An intended effect of the introduced trait is an increased survivability in potato fields exposed to Phytophthora infestans. This possible selective advantage, however, is of importance only in the agricultural field, and will not improve the survivability in the surrounding environment. The reduced need for fungicides on these lines can easily be identified as an environmental benefit.

The ahas gene expressed in the potato plants imparts tolerance to the herbicidal active substance Imazamox to the shoots during the selection process in cell culture. This confers no selective advantage in the field since Imidazolinone herbicides are not approved for use on crops in the UK and since no field tolerance is expected in the potato plants. No difference with respect to persistence in agriculturally utilised habitats or invasiveness into natural habitats as compared to conventional potato varieties is expected. Through the measures which are taken during the release, distance from or absence of conventionally cultivated potatoes or wild species, the possibility of any gene transfer can be virtually ruled out. Even in the very improbable event that pollen were to be transferred to genetically unmodified potato plants, no consequences are to be expected, since potato propagation conventionally takes place via tubers and not via seeds. The interactions of the genetically modified potato line with non-target organisms and the effects resulting from this will be comparable to those with conventional potato varieties. Furthermore, no toxic or allergenic effects are expected on the basis of the improved resistance to Phytophthora infestans or the expressed AHAS protein. No effects on biogeochemical processes are expected, other than those that apply also to conventional potatoes.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
An isolation distance of 10 m to other commercial potato cultivations will be observed. Planting and harvesting equipment will be cleaned on site to prevent the dispersal of GM tubers. There will be no potato cultivation on the release area the year following the release. Potential volunteers will be monitored and removed according to conventional agricultural practice. During the release the trial site will be monitored at defined intervals.
Measures in place under current field trial practice will safeguard that all seed and plant material is properly managed, harvested, stored, transported or disposed of. The GM potato lines will be cultivated under conventional agricultural practices.

Summary of foreseen field trial studies focused to gain new data on environmental and human health impact from the release:
Not applicable.

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
04/03/2011 00:00:00
Consent given with conditions