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 Maize plants with increased strach levels by overexpression of SuSy (Sus4).

Proposed period of release:
01/04/2012 to 30/09/2012

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
Instituto de Agrobiotecnología, Universidad Pública de Navarra/Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, ;

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
maizepoaceaezeazea maysmays

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
Transgenic maize plants produced have the potato Sus4 gene under the control of the ubiquitine promoter. In this construction the selection gene was BAR (BASTA resistance).

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:
Gene: Potato sucrose sintase gene (2418 base pares). Accesion number AJ537575 CAD-RNAi.
Selection gene: BAR (herbicide BASTA resistance).
Gene promotor: Ubi-1 (maize ubiquitine promoter).

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
The method used to obtain the transgenic plants has been the biolistic method.

Experimental Release

1. Purpose of the release:
SuSy over- expressing plants have increased sucrose sintase activity which is implicated in the starch production in the plant. Recently, the interest for starch has increased due to the global growing demand of alternative energy sources such as bioethanol. In particular, maize starch is the major feedstock for first generation biofuels due to the relative easy with which it can be converted to fermentable sugars (Smith et al., 2008). The increasing nedd for renewable sources couple with the growing human population and shrinking land availability for agriculture provides strong motivation for developing genetic solutions to improve starch yields, as the one we propose here (Susy overexpression).

Smith AM (2008) Prospects for increasing starch and glucose yields for bioethanol production. The Plant J. 54: 546-558.

This work is part of the work of our group, devoted to study the role of susys in starch metabolim (Baroja-Fernández et al., 2001, 2004, 2005 y 2009 ; Muñoz et al., 2005 y 2006).

Baroja-Fernández E., Muñoz F.J., Zandueta-Criado A., Morán-Zorzano M.T., Viale A.M., Alonso-Casajús N., Pozueta-Romero J. (2004) Most of ADPglucose linked to starch biosynthesis occurs outside the chloroplast in source leaves. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:13080-13085.

Baroja-Fernández E., Muñoz F.J., Saikusa T., Rodríguez-López M., Takashi A.,Pozueta-Romero J. (2003). Sucrose synthase catalyzes the de novo production of ADPglucose linked to Satrch Biosynthesis in heterotrophic tissues of plants. Plant Cell Physiol. 44: 500-509.

Baroja-Fernández E., Muñoz F.J., Zandueta-Criado A., Morán-Zorzano M.T., Viale A.M., Alonso-Casajús N., Pozueta-Romero J. (2001) Most of ADPglucose linked to starch biosynthesis occurs outside the chloroplast in source leaves. Plant Cell Physiol42:1311-1320.

Baroja-Fernández E., Muñoz FJ., Montero M., Etxeberria E., Sesma MT., Ovecka M., Bahaji A., Ezquer I., Li J., Prat S and Pozueta-Romero J. (2009) Enhancing sucrose synthase activity in transgenic potato (Sloanum tuberosum L) tubers results in increased levels of satrch, ADPglucose, UDPglucose and total yield. Plant Cell Physiol. 50: 1651-1662.

Muñoz F.J., Baroja-Fernández E., Morán-Zorzano M.T., Viale A.M., Etxeberria E., Alonso-Casajús N., Pozueta-Romero J.(2005). Sucrose synthase controls both intracellular ADPglucose levels and transitory starch in source leaves. Plant Cell Physiol. 46:1366-1376.

Muñoz F.J., Baroja-Fernández E., Alonso-Casajús N., Morán-Zorzano M.T., Pozueta-Romero J. (2006). Sucrose synthase controls both ADPglucose and starch biosynthesis in plants. Biocatal. Biotransf. 24: 63-76.

Results obtained with these plants, growing in greenhouse conditions, reveal that the only diference between transgenic and wt plants in the increase in SuSy activity and in starch content.

In order to prove that these results also occur in field grown maize plants, we decided to release this material. If results are as expected, these plants could be of great agronomic interest related to the production of first generation bioethanol by using the rich-starch grains.

2. Geographical location of the site:
Genetic modified maize plants will be released in Sartaguda (Navarra-Spain). The Experimental Field, which belongs to the Instituto Técnico Agrícola (ITGA), a governmental Institution, is located in a dry area (5-50mm precipitation) in south Navarra.

3. Size of the site (m2):
The Experimental field has 19 ha. However we will be using only 260 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:
We have observed no adverse effects of the transgenic lines on environment during the release realized in 2011 (B/ES/11/10).
All the weeds and pets (corn barer) affected in the same way to the border and the experimental lines (HiII and OMGs) and were typical for corn.
We have either observed any adverse effect on human health. No one of us (from The research Institute and the experimental field) had any health problem.

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
The introduced traits are not expected to confer any selective advantage either any effect on environment when compared with control plants.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
- We will control that nobody other people´s than us harvests any maize plant.
- The maize plants will be surrounded by sexually remote plants.
- It will be destroyed, by autoclaving, all the vegetal material that is not going to be used for investigations purposes.
- Maize will not be seeded on the same parcel the following campaign.

Summary of foreseen field trial studies focused to gain new data on environmental and human health impact from the release:
We will plant 954 maize seeds, 450 for the experiment and 504 as border (commercial maize)
We will work with four genetic modified lines and the control plants (WT line).
We will use 90 seeds of each line, divided in 3 subparcels of 30 seeds each.

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
25/05/2012 00:00:00
The competent authority for give the consent of these field trials is the Autonomous Community of Navarra.