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
Scientific field research using maize that has altered growth characteristics

Proposed period of release:
01/04/2012 to 31/10/2014

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
VIB (Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie), ;

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
maizepoaceaezeazea maysmaysinbred line B104

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
The genetically modified maize has an altered growth characteristic resulting from the introduction of a Ga20Oxidase-1 gene stemming from Arabidopsis thaliana. As a result the plants become significantly longer without producing significantly more biomass.

Additionally the bar-gene from Streptomyces hygroscopicus is present in the plant as a selection marker gene. This bar-gene produces the Phosphinotricin Acetyl Transferase enzyme (PAT), which acetylates phosphinotricin, also known as glufonisinate, the active ingredient of the broad spectrum herbicides Basta and Liberty.

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:
Feature/ Function/ Donor

Left T-DNA-border/ T-DNA insert border/ Agrobacterium tumefaciens

NOS-BAR(= bar -TNOS)/ Phosphinotrycine acetyl transferase followed by the nopaline synthase terminator/ Streptomyces hygroscopicus and Agrobacterium tumefaciens

P35S/ Transcription promoter/ CaMV

AttB4/ Excision-integration site*/ Lysogenic E.coli

UBIL/ Ubiquinine promoter/ Zea mays

AttB1/ Excision-integration site*/ Lysogenic E.coli

GA20Oxidase-1/ Codes for the enzyme GA20Oxidase-1/ Arabidopsis thaliana

AttB2/ Excision-integration site*/ Lysogenic E.coli

T35S/ Transcription terminator/ CaMV

Right T-DNA-border/ T-DNA insert border/ Agrobacterium tumefaciens

*The AttB1, -2 en -4 sequences are mutated versions of the AttB sequences that were originally isolated from lysogenic E.coli

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
The method used for the genetic transformation is based on Agrobacterium tumefaciens co-cultivation with maize embryos. After this co-cultivation an embryogenic callus is developed and using a selective medium modified plantlets are regenerated.

Experimental Release

1. Purpose of the release:
The purpose of the release is to verify the altered growth characteristics of the maize under agricultural conditions and to test the suitability of this maize for a higher plant density.

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

3. Size of the site (m2):
The size of the site will be no more than 500m2.

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:
There have been no earlier releases with the same GM plant.

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
The altered phenotype – increased height, without producing more biomass – resulting from the introduction of a Ga20oxidase gene is not expected to result in any effects other than the greater height. Fluctuations in the level of Ga20oxidase are already present in conventional cereal crops leading to plants with different heights. The semidwarf phenotype in rice that was at the basis of the green revolution resulted from a mutation in a Ga20oxidase gene.

The presence of the herbicide tolerance marker gene is also not expected to result in any environmental impact. The gene is not introduced with the intention to use the herbicide in the field.

The presence of the Att sequences is also not expected to lead to any environmental impacts. Even if the presence of these sequences would lead to a higher chance of horizontal gene transfer, it is not expected that a receiving bacterium would gain any selective advantage from having a Ga20oxidase-1 gene, which results in more stretching of the plant.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
The tassels of the plants will be removed before they start shedding pollen and the maize cobs will be carefully harvested manually to prevent any spread of seeds. Harvested cobs will be transported in closed labeled bags and will be transported to the VIB laboratories in Ghent. Cobs and seeds will be stored there and may be used for further research. Material that is no longer needed will be inactivated. Harvested stems will be collected in bags or tons that will be closed. That material will then be transported to either Ghent or Merelbeke for further measurements, before being inactivated. No harvested material will be consumed.

Summary of foreseen field trial studies focused to gain new data on environmental and human health impact from the release:
The modification is not expected to lead to any effect on human health or the environment. If in the first year during the general monitoring unexpected differences between the modified maize and its parental line would appear, for instance in disease vulnerability or interaction with non-target organisms, then in the second or third year additional observations will be done.

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
10/04/2012 00:00:00
The consent was given on 10 April 2012 and is valid from 2012 till 2014, with annual prolongations of the consent ( Nevertheless, the notifier decided not to continue the trial in 2014.
Conditions are linked to the consent, including specifications on the trial configuration (e.g. buffer strip of 3 meters with non-genetically modified maize), trial and waste management, monitoring during and after the trial, control samples.