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
Study on the effect of elevated stomata density on water balance and performance of transgenic potato in the agro-environment

Proposed period of release:
01/04/2006 to 30/11/2009

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:
Plants transformed with the pStSDDhpi:
- Sequences from the subtilisin like serine protease SDD1 gene of Solanum tuberosum in sense and antisense orientiation to the 35S promoter from cauliflower mosaic virus. Sense and antisense sequences are separated by the pdk-intron from Flaveria trinervia. When transcribed the sequence results in a dsRNA with hairpin-intron structure leading to efficient silencing of the endogenous SDD1 gene.
- Ocs terminator from Agrobacterium tumefaciens
- Nos promoter from Agrobacterium tumefaciens
- chimeric npt II (neomycin-phosphotransferase II) gene from Escherichia coli (with 5’-sequence of the nos gene from Agrobacterium tumefaciens)
- Nos teminator from Agrobacterium tumefaciens
- A PCR analysis revealed the existence of the aadA gene (which is located outside the t-DNA) in the genome of three out of four transformants indicating that the corresponding transgenic plants may contain all 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:
In the four transformation events selected for field trials, the t-DNA of the pStSDDhpi construct was inserted into the potato genome. The t-DNA contains a DNA-sequence, in which the subtilisin like serine protease SDD1 gene from Solanum tuberosum is in partial sense and partial antisense orientation to the promoter of the 35S-RNA of the cauliflower mosaic virus, terminated by the Ocs terminator from Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The expression of this RNAi construct of the SDD1 gene increases the number of stomata in the leaves of the plants. Under high light conditions, these plants do not show stress symptoms (e.g. leaf rolling), suggesting a higher tolerance to high light/high temperature conditions. The transformed potato plants further contain the npt II gene from Escherichia coli under the control of the Nos promoter and terminator from Agrobacterium tumesfaciens. 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 binary vector pStSDDhpi was constructed based on the pART27 vector. pStSDDhpi was used to transform Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain C58C1 GV2260. Axenic leaf cuttings of Solanum tuberosum cv. Desiree were incubated for minutes in a suspension of the genetically modified agrobacteria. Afterwards, these leaf cuttings were incubated on a shoot induction medium 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 SDD1 gene showed increased stomata densities compared to the untransformed parent plant. pStSDDhpi plants showed reduced stress symptoms under high light treatment. The experimental release will provide data how the stomata density correlates to the performance of potato plants in an agro-environment, where the plants are subjected to the natural diurnal and seasonal changes of environmental features, especially climatic parameters. Special focus is given to the investigation of the water balance of the plants under different regimes of irrigation. Thus, we will gain insight into the role of stomata density for the performance of plants under natural environmental conditions

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

3. Size of the site (m2):
A maximum number of 1600 GM plants are planted in a 500 m² release site on a test site of presently 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 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 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 is 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:
15/03/2006 00:00:00