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
Changes in environmental behaviour of Cyanophycin producing transgenic potato plants

Proposed period of release:
01/11/2008 to 30/06/2009

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
University of Rostock, ;

3. Is the same GMPt release planned elsewhere in the Community?

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

If yes, notification number(s):

Genetically modified plant

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

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
Genes for PsbY-cphATe (Cyanophycin Synthetase) of T. elongates (with chloroplast transit peptide from A. thaliana) and/ or nptII (neomycin phosphotransferase II gene of E.coli) were introduced into potato under control of the constitutive 35S promoter.As a result the genetically modified plants produce Cyanophycin and are resistant against kanamycin.

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:
Genes for PsbY-cphATe (Cyanophycin Synthetase) of T. elongates (with chloroplast transit peptide from A. thaliana) and/ or nptII (neomycin phosphotransferase II gene of E.coli) were introduced into potato under control of the constitutive 35S promoter.

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
An Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and plant regeneration system slightly modified according to HORSCH et al. 1985 was used for the transformation of the potatoes cultivar Albatros.

Horsch, R., Fry, J., Hoffmann, N.L., Eichholtz, D., Rogers, S.G., Fraley, R.T. (1985) A simple and general method for transferring genes into plants. Science 227: 1229-1231

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:
Evaluation of environmental behaviour of the genetically modified potatoes focusses on
- Changes in frost resistance
- Changes in the interaction of GMP and soil microbes
- Rotting velocity, intensity and degradation products
- Monitoring of secondary growth
- Analysis of soil parameters during the rotting process

2. Geographical location of the site:
Sanitz (Mecklenburg/Vorpommern)

3. Size of the site (m2):
57.6 m2 of genetically modified plants

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:
Not applicable.

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
There is no scientific reason to assume that the modifications of Cyanophycin may lead to changes in reproduction, dispersion, persistence or invasiveness of these plants compared to conventional potato plants. On the basis of current experience the transgenic plants do not differ from non-transgenic plants in growth, size, phenology and seed formation. Under field conditions there is no selective pressure that might lead to a selective advantage of any of the transgenic lines. Due to current experience no effect of the proteins in the plants on pest or beneficial organisms or on health and environment is expected. The two events have already been released from 2006 to 2008 without any problems or visible changes compared to the near isogenic line.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
Investigations on changes in frost resistance, rotting and secondary growth are scheduled from November 2008 to June 2009. Therefore, flowering or vegetative propagation is not expected.
Laying and harvesting will be carried out by hand, so no dispersal of GM tubers is to be expected. Harvested plant material will be transported from the site in closed and labelled containers to the laboratories for analyses. Since a defined number of tubers, enclosed in a wide mashed net, will be put into soil and no propagation is to be expected during the release period (mainly winter season and early spring) we are able to remove all transgenic organisms from the site. Hence, no volunteers are to be expected. After the experiments the transgenic material will be completely removed from the soil.
The area will be controlled for volunteers for one year. If transgenic potatoes are detected, the control will be prolonged for an additional year. During the release period the Field Manager and trained personnel will monitor the trial site at defined intervals.

Summary of foreseen field trial studies focused to gain new data on environmental and human health impact from the release:
The field trials are designed to investigate the following topics:
- Frost and the frost reaction of Cyanophycin producing plants
- Influence of the winter season on rotting of the GMPs
- Potential accumulation of Cyanophycin in the soil
- Influence of rotting of Cyanophycin producing potatoes on soil microbes

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
31/10/2008 00:00:00