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
Effect of apyrase activity on the tuber yield and further agronomic traits in transgenic potato

Proposed period of release:
01/04/2005 to 30/11/2010

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, ;

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
potatosolanaceaesolanumsolanum tuberosumtuberosumDésirée

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
- partial sequences from the apyrase 1 gene of Solanum tuberosum in sense and antisense orientation to the B33 promoter from Solanum tuberosum; sense and antisense sequences are separated by an intron of the pyruvat-orthophosphate-dikinase gene from Flaveria trinervia and thus form a sequence that acts as an RNAi-structure when transcribed
- OCS terminator from Agrobacterium tumefaciens
- Nos promoter from Agrobacterium tumefaciens
- npt II (neomycin-phosphotransferase II) gene from Escherichia coli
- Nos teminator from Agrobacterium tumefaciens
- The transgenic plant may contain further parts of the vector pART27.

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:
Potato plants were transformed with a plasmid containing an RNAi construct for the apyrase 1 gene from Solanum tuberosum in sense/antisense orientation to the promoter of the patatin gene B33 from Solanum tuberosum, terminated by the OCS terminator from Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The expression of the apyrase RNAi gene in the tubers of potato reduces the activity of the apyrase enzyme in the tubers. Under greenhouse conditions, the insertion of RNAi construct for the apyrase 1 gene of potato results in an increased tuber yield. Potato plants further contain the npt II gene from Escherichia coli under the control of the Nos promotor and terminator from Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The npt II gene was introduced as a selection marker to facilitate the isolation of transgenic plants during the transformation process. Plant cells expressing the npt II gene show an increased resistance to the antibiotic Kanamycin as compared to plant cells without npt II expression.

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
The RNAi construct for the apyrase 1 gene was cloned in the binary vector pART27. The resulting vector was used to transform Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain C58C1. Axenic leaf cuttings of Solanum tuberosum cv. Desiree were incubated for 3 to 5 minutes in a suspension of these genetically modified Agrobacteria. Afterwards, these leaf cuttings were incubated on a shoot induction media containing the antibiotic Kanamycin to select for transformed cells and the antibiotic Cefotaxim or Tricarcellin to destroy the Agrobacteria. Regenerating shoots were transferred to a medium containing Cefotaxim or Tricarcellin and cultivated for at least two passages under these conditions.

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:
Under greenhouse conditions, the potato plants that were transformed with the RNAi construct of the apyrase 1 gene show an increased tuber yield as compared to the untransformed parental cultivar. The experimental release will provide data whether this positive effect of a regulatory enzyme on tuber yield can also be observed, when plants are subjected to the natural diurnal and seasonal changes in environmental, especially climatic parameters.

2. Geographical location of the site:
D-14476 Potsdam/Golm, Flur 1, Flurstück-Nr 955, State of Brandenburg, Germany

3. Size of the site (m2):
A maximum number of 600 GM plants per year are planted on a 200 m² release site in a wider trial area of 77000 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:
The GM plant has not been released before.

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
In Germany, potato plants have a very low dispersal range and do not survive outside agronomic environments. Potato does not hybridise with any species growing wild in Germany. The low survival rate in natural environments is mainly due to the very low frost resistance of any part of the plant except seeds. Frost resistance as a major limiting trait for the survival of potato depends on a several genes which to our present knowledge lack in the genome of the cultivated Solanum tuberosum. The alteration of the activity of a single potato enzyme in the transgenic plants is unlikely to increase the frost resistance.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
Potato has a very low dispersal capacity and does not hybridise with any species growing wild in Germany. Thus, GM potato can be isolated in the release site (= the area that is planted with the GM potato) by keeping a minimum distance of 20 m between the GM potato and any potato cultivation that is not monitored as stated below. This requirement is met by the placing the release site accordingly on the test site. The release site is monitored for volunteers during the growth season of the year following the release. Any potato volunteer on the release site are destroyed. The post-harvest survey is repeated until the number of potato volunteers in the respective release site is zero for one year.

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:
22/03/2005 00:00:00