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 environment of genetically modified potatoes with altered starch metabolism or with improved resistance to Phytophthora infestans (2007 - 2011)

Proposed period of release:
01/04/2007 to 31/10/2011

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?
France; United Kingdom; Netherlands; Sweden; Czech Republic;

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

If yes, notification number(s):
B/CZ/05/642; B/CZ/06/01; B/CZ/06/02; B/CZ/07/01; B/DE/04/162; B/DE/05/172; B/DE/05/173; B/DE/05/174; B/FR/06/12/15; B/GB/06/R42/01; B/IE/06/01; B/NL/03/10; B/NL/05/03; B/NL/05/04; B/NL/05/05; B/SE/02/1104-CON; B/SE/03/1946; B/SE/04/1101; B/SE/04/7943; B/SE/05/450; B/SE/05/8615;

Genetically modified plant

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

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
- increased accumulation of amylose starch in tubers
- increased accumulation of amylopectin starch in tubers
- increased resistance against Phytophthora infestans
- Ahas gene (tolerance to Imidazolinones) 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, A. thaliana, imidazolinone tolerance in plant material
- Promoter and terminator from nopaline synthase gene, A. tumefaciens, gene regulation
- Promoter of gbss gene, Solanum tuberosum, gene regulation
- the inverted repeat fragments of the be1 and be2 genes leads to a reduction of the amylopectin fraction in the starch of the potato tuber resulting in a concomitant increase in the levels of amylose
- the antisense or inverted repeat fragment of the gbss gene leads to a reduction of the amylose fraction in the starch of the potato tuber resulting in a concomitant increase in the levels of amylopectine
- 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 DNA was introduced into the potato lines by Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer technology. 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, within the frame of safety studies to compile data on agronomical performance and environmental effects, as well as to collect plant material for further analyses, as well as to generate seed tubers.

2. Geographical location of the site:
The release sites will be located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Sachsen, Rheinland-Pfalz and Bayern.

3. Size of the site (m2):
Between approx. 1 to 50 ha

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 previous releases of potato lines transformed with the same constructs in Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, and Czech Republic. 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 show a shift of the tuber starch composition to amylose. No difference regarding persistence in agricultural habitats or invasiveness in natural habitats compared to conventional potato varieties is expected. Nor is it expected that a selective advantage or disadvantage is conferred to the GM lines via the introduced traits. Interactions of the GM potato lines with non-target species and resulting effects will be comparable to those of conventional potato varieties. No toxic or allergenic effects are expected from elevated levels of amylose, nor from elevated levels of amylopectin, or the endogenous starch biosynthesis enhancing protein.
The genetically modified potato lines with improved resistance to Phytophthora infestans contain two NBS-LRR-genes, Rpi-blb1 and Rpi-blb2, from Solanum bulbocastanum. 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 P. 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. Furthermore, no toxic or allergenic effects are expected on the basis of the improved resistance to P. infestans.
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 Germany and since no field tolerance is expected in the potato plants. No difference with respect to persistence in agriculturally utilized habitats or invasiveness into natural habitats as compared to conventional potato varieties is expected. No toxic or allergenic effects are expected from the expressed AHAS protein
Through the measures 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 lines with non-target organisms and the effects resulting from this will be comparable to those with conventional potato varieties. No effects on biogeochemical processes are expected, other than those that apply also to conventional potatoes.
Measures in place under current field trial practice will protect the trial from damage by animals as well as safeguard that all seed and plant material is properly managed, harvested, stored, transported or disposed of to minimize or prevent contact to humans or animals. The GM potato lines will be cultivated under conventional agricultural practices.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
An isolation distance of 10 m to other potato varieties 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.

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:
19/04/2007 00:00:00