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
Production of oilseed rape with genetically modified fatty-acid composition of the storage lipids

Proposed period of release:
01/05/2003 to 31/12/2006

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
Bundesanstalt für Züchtungsforschung an Kulturpflanzen, ;

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
oilseed rapebrassicaceaebrassicabrassica napusnapus (syn. oleifera)Drakkar

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
The construct is composed of (1) the left and right border sequences, (2) an acyl-[ACP] thioesterase gene from Cuphea lanceolata with its seed specific promotor and the termination signal (ClFatB4), and (3) a selectable marker gene from plasmid pRT103 neo [Töpfer R, Maas C, Horicke-Grandpierre C, Schell J, Steinbiss HH (1993): Methods in Enzymology 217: 66-78] which is composed of (3a) the termination signal of the 35S RNA of Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV), (3b) the neomycin-phosphptransferase-II-gene (NPTII) from transposon Tn5, and (3c) the 35S RNA promotor of CaMV.

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:
ClFatB4-gene: substrate-specific partial termination of the fatty-acid biosynthesis, resulting in the production of the medium-chain fatty acid myristic acid (C14:0), which is unusual in oilseed rape.
NPT II gene: causes resistance against kanamycin which is used for the in vitro selection of transformed calli.

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
Wounded hypocotyl explants of c.v. 'Drakkar' were co-incubated with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain C58 C1 RifR GV3101 [van Larebeke N, Engler G, Holsters M, van den Elsacker S, I Zaenen I, Schilperoort R A, Schell J (1974): Nature 252: 169-170], containing the Ti-plasmid pMP90RK without T-DNA (Koncz et al. 1986: Mol. Gen. Genet. 204: 383-396). The second small vector pRE1 contains a 'disarmed' t-DNA. The used bacteria possess no potential to cause plant diseases. After co-cultivation the explants were placed on a solid medium carrying a suited antibiotic against Agrobacterium. A second antibiotic (Kanamycin) was used to select the transformed calli, whose Kanamycin resistance is coded by the NPT II-gene of the construct (see point 1).

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 produce sufficient seed samples to study (1) the feeding of swines with oilseed- rape pellets regarding (1a) the physiological effect of the altered com-position of feeding constituents on the animal, and (1b) the behaviour of the transgenic DNA in the animal and its products; and (2) the possibilities of the rapseed oil usage in the chemi-cal industry as a renewable source.

2. Geographical location of the site:
The release site is located in the community of Gross Luesewitz, near the city of Rostock in the north-eastern part of Germany. The coordinates of the rectangular field are measured by GPS as:
A: N 54,06846°; O 12,32384°
B: N 54,06857°; O 12,32370°
C: N 54,06791°; O 12,31933°
D: N 54,06757°; O 12,31950°

3. Size of the site (m2):
7.500 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:
Comparable transgenic lines were released from 1996 to 2002 at the same site to study (1) their behaviour under field conditions, and (2) the possibilities to increase the content of medium-chain fatty acids. Every year the base variety 'Drakkar' had served as a check variety. There have been never observed any differences between 'Drakkar' and the transgenic lines regarding growth and de-velopment in the field. The feeding of hamsters as model animals for the human lipid metabolism with oil of transgenic lines displayed that despite of its higher content of C12-C16 saturated fatty acids the LDL cholesterol content was lower than in a diet with animal fat containing about five per-cent less of the respective saturated fatty acids [Eder K, Brandsch C (2002): Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 104: 3-13].

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
The occurrence of myristic acid in vegetable storage lipids used for human nutrition is not unusual. Palm-kernel oil contains about 50 % lauric acid and about 17 % myristic acid, re-spectively. Other sources with appreciable amounts of myristic acid are for instance Babussa oil, Teel oil, and Brazil-nut oil. The fat of the breast milk contains about 8 % myristic acid, whereas it is in cow's milk about 10 %.
The alteration of the fatty-acid composition may result in changing the physico-chemical properties of the oil. A shift in the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids towards the content of saturated fatty acids, as happens in the present transgenic lines, results in a de-crease of the melting point of the oil. Thus the oil of the transgenic lines is solid at +5°C. The studies of Linder (Linder C R (1998): Ecological Applications 8:1180-1195) with trans-genic oilseed rape high in lauric acid (C12:0) give evidence that the seed germination could be delayed. The plants then will emerge at drier growing conditions which is an disadvantage for further growing. Additional, with lower nutrition, which is often given outside the farmer's fields, the loss of viable seeds in the seed bank was increased. In summary, the al-tered fatty-acid composition of the present transgenic lines result rather in disadvantages re-garding competition with non-transgenics in the field as well as with other competitors in the natural habitat.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
The post-harvest monitoring conducted every year in the release 1996-2002 has shown a strong decrease in volunteer plants from year to year. Whereas in the spring after the harvest with minimum tillage (non-ploughing) there were observed 10-15 plants/m2, this amount was reduced to less than 0.1 plants/ m2 in the following year.
In neighboured transgenic plots which were separated by strips of non-transgenic spring oilseed rape (1.5 m width), the parental difference of about 5 percent myristic acid content could be maintained in the harvested seed. It suggests a very low pollen dispersal in this cases.

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:
16/05/2003 00:00:00