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
Notification according to Directive 2001/18/EC, Part B, for the deliberate release of NK603 x MON 810 for the use in field trials in France (2007).

Proposed period of release:
01/04/2007 to 31/12/2007

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
Monsanto Agriculture France S.A.S, ;

3. Is the same GMPt release planned elsewhere in the Community?
Germany; Spain; Czech Republic;

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

If yes, notification number(s):
B/DE/04/163; B/ES/04/18; B/ES/04/20; B/ES/06/07; B/ES/06/09; B/FR/00/02/06-CON; B/FR/04/02/01; B/FR/06/01/04;

Other notifications
In addition, many field trials have already been conducted across maize growing regions in North and South America and other world area and NK603 × MON 810 has been commercially released for cultivation in the U.S.A., since 2002.

Genetically modified plant

Complete name of the recipient or parental plant(s)
Common NameFamily NameGenusSpeciesSubspeciesCultivar/breeding line
maizepoaceaezeazea maysmaysNK603 × MON 810

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
NK603 x MON 810 consists in the combination, by traditional breeding, of two genetically modified parental maize lines, NK603 and MON 810, respectively. NK603 x MON 810 expresses CP4 EPSPS proteins, which impart tolerance to glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl-glycine), the active ingredient in the non-selective herbicide Roundup®. EPSPS is an enzyme involved in the shikimic acid pathway for aromatic amino acid biosynthesis in plants and microorganisms. CP4 EPSPS enzymes have been shown to have significantly reduced affinity for glyphosate-containing herbicide when compared with the wild-type maize enzyme, and to retain catalytic activity in the presence of the inhibitor glyphosate. Therefore, when maize plants expressing the CP4 EPSPS proteins are treated with glyphosate, the plants are unaffected since the continued action of the tolerant CP4 EPSPS enzymes provides for the plant’s need for aromatic amino acids. NK603 x MON 810 also expresses the Cry1Ab protein, which provides the maize plant of protection from certain lepidopteran insect pests, including European Corn Borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) and pink borers (Sesamia spp.). The insecticidal activity of the Cry1Ab protein is specific to predation by the larvae of the targeted lepidopterans.

Genetic modification

3. Type of genetic modification:
Insertion; Other;
NK603 x MON 810 consists in the combination, by traditional breeding, of two genetically modified parental inbred lines, derived from maize transformation events NK603 and MON 810, respectively. No additional genetic modification is involved.

In case of insertion of genetic material, give the source and intended function of each constituent fragment of the region to be inserted:
NK603 × MON 810 results from traditional breeding of NK603 and MON 810, homozygous in their respective inserted sequences. By crossing NK603 and MON 810, NK603 × MON 810 inherits the inserted DNA fragments from both its parental lines. The individual components and the function of the inherited sequences are given in Tables 1 and 2.

Table 1. Components of the inserted DNA fragment inherited from NK603

First cp4 epsps gene cassette
P-ract1/ ract1 intron : Oryza sativa : Contains promoter, transcription start site and first intron.
Ctp 2 : Arabidopsis thaliana : Encodes chloroplast transit peptide, which directs the CP4 EPSPS protein to the chloroplast
cp4 epsps : Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4 : Encodes glyphosate-tolerant CP4 EPSPS protein
NOS 3’ : Agrobacterium tumefaciens : Ends transcription and directs polyadenylation of the mRNA.
Second cp4 epsps gene cassette
e35S : Cauliflower mosaic virus : Promoter
Zmhsp70 : Zea mays L. : Stabilizes the level of gene transcription.
Ctp 2 : Arabidopsis thaliana : Encodes chloroplast transit peptide, which directs the CP4 EPSPS protein to the chloroplast
cp4 epsps l214p : Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4 : Encodes glyphosate-tolerant CP4 EPSPS L214P protein1
NOS 3’ : Agrobacterium tumefaciens : Ends transcription and directs polyadenylation of the mRNA.

Table 2. Components of the inserted DNA fragment inherited from MON 810 Genetic

e35S : Cauliflower mosaic virus : Promoter
Zmhsp70 : Zea mays L. : Stabilizes level of gene transcription.
Cry1Ab : Bacillus thuringiensis : Encodes Cry1Ab protein, which targets specific lepidopteran insect pests

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
NK603 x MON 810 is created using conventional breeding techniques. No additional genetic modification is utilised in the production of NK603 × MON 810. Typically, NK603 × MON 810 hybrids are produced by a single traditional cross of NK603 and MON 810 parental inbred lines (homozygous for the respective introduced trait). F1 hybrid seed thereby inherits the introduced glyphosate-tolerance trait from NK603, as well as the lepidopteran-protection trait from MON 810. While NK603 × MON 810 results from traditional breeding, genetic modification was used in the development of the parental NK603 and MON 810. These single trait parental maize lines were genetically modified using a particle acceleration method.

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:
NK603 x MON 810 will be planted in field trials: the proposed experiments are part of a 1 year field testing programme.The aims of the programme are :
1 - to confirm by qualitative and quantitative measurements (yields) of the agronomic performance of NK603 × MON 810,
2 - to study of the effectiveness of maize weeding programmes involving different combinations of doses and stages of application of ROUNDUP herbicides.
3 - to study the lepidopteran insect protection of maize plants,
4 - to verify in the fields the performance of NK603 × MON 810 hybrids with a view to their inclusion in the official varieties catalogue,
5 - to follow seeds selection trials and seeds production for research,
6 - to present plots for transgenic maize set up within the framework of technical demonstration trials.

2. Geographical location of the site:
The releases are planned at several locations in 2007 (Rhône-Alpes, Midi-Pyrénées, Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes, Centre, Lorraine).The trial locations for the campaign 2007 are shown in the table below :

Valvidienne (86)
Civaux (86)
Beux (57)
Allamont (54)
Moulotte (55)
Foameix-Ornel (55)
Yermenonville (28)
Poinville (28)
St Maurice de Gourdans (01)
Faramans (01)
Bourgoin-Jallieu (38)
Linxe (40)
Magescq (40)
Layrac (47)
Fronton (31)
Mauroux (32)
Serignac (82)
La Salvetat de Belmontet (82)
Monclar de Quercy (82)

3. Size of the site (m2):
Each site will have a maximum of 5 000 m² sown with NK603 x MON 810 concerned by this application, the total area covered by the trial will be higher.

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:
Multi-year field-testing in the E.U. (for the assessment of agronomic performance, phenotypic and morphological characteristics, yield, residues determination, protein expression and compositional analysis) and post-marketing experience in other world areas since 2002 provided no significant evidence that NK603 × MON 810 and its progeny would cause any adverse effects to human or animal health and the environment.

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
Analysis of the characteristics of NK603 × MON 810, especially in comparison with extensive experience with cultivation of conventional maize within the E.U., has shown that the risk for potential adverse effects on human and animal health and the receiving environment, resulting from the planned field trials with NK603 × MON 810, is consistently negligible:
· The risk of the introduced traits in NK603 × MON 810 to be the cause of any meaningful competitive advantage or disadvantage in natural environments is negligible. Like for any other maize, the likelihood of this maize to spread into non-agronomic environments is negligible, as its persistence in agricultural habitats and its invasiveness into natural habitats are unaltered compared to traditional maize. Moreover, there is no potential for gene transfer from NK603 × MON 810 to any wild plant species in Europe.
· As for parental MON 810 maize, NK603 × MON 810 poses negligible risk for adverse environmental effects through its interaction with target organisms. The ecological interactions of NK603 × MON 810 with non-target organisms or soil processes are not different from traditional maize. Potential exposure of non-target organisms to CP4 EPSPS presents no conceivable mechanism to cause adverse effects because of its properties, and due to the highly selective insecticidal activity of the Cry1Ab protein on the larvae of specifically targeted Lepidopteran insect pests, also this protein poses negligible risks to non-target organisms.
· Any occupational health aspects of handling NK603 × MON 810 are no different from traditional maize, and this maize was shown to be as safe and as nutritious as any other maize.
· The environmental impact of the cultivation, management and harvesting techniques applied in the planned trials is considered no different from the farming practices for traditional maize. Since no characteristics of NK603 × MON 810 could be identified that may cause adverse effects on human health or the environment, no risk management strategies are considered necessary.It is actually expected that the commercial production of NK603 × MON 810 will positively impact current agronomic practices in maize and provide benefits to farmers and the environment. The use of Roundup herbicides in maize enables the farmer to take advantage of the herbicide’s favourable environmental and safety properties (see Annex I listing of glyphosate under Council Directive 91/414/EEC). Glyphosate-tolerant maize benefits the farmer by providing (1) an additional broad-spectrum weed control option in maize, (2) a new herbicidal mode of action for in-season maize weed control, (3) increased flexibility to treat weeds on an “as needed” basis, (4) cost-effective weed control and (5) an excellent fit with reduced-tillage systems. In turn, a number of environmental benefits arise from the use of conservation tillage including improved soil quality, improved water infiltration, reductions in erosion and sedimentation of water resources, reduced runoff of nutrients and pesticides to surface water, improved wildlife habitat, increased carbon retention in the soil, reduced fuel use and encouragement of sustainable agricultural practices. Other benefits of planting this maize result from its lepidopteran-protection trait and include: 1) a reliable means to control the target lepidopteran maize pests; 2) control of target insects while maintaining beneficial species; 3) potential for reduced use to hazardous chemical insecticides and reduced applicator exposure to these products; 4) fit with integrated pest management (IPM) and sustainable agricultural systems; 5) potential for reduced mycotoxin levels in maize kernels; and 6) no additional labour or machinery requirements, allowing both large and small growers to maximize hybrid yields.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
The environmental risk assessment has indicated that the environmental risks of this maize are negligible. Therefore, strategies for risk management for NK603 × MON 810 would be the same as for traditional maize.However, in addition to the planned research, the trial site will be checked regularly during the period of the deliberate release for potentially occurring, direct or indirect, adverse environmental effects. This will be done by visual inspection of the status of the NK603 x MON 810 crop and that of its receiving environment.In case any adverse environmental effects, linked to the deliberate release of NK603 × MON 810, are observed during the period of release, these will be reported immediately to the Competent Authority. At the end of the field-testing campaign, a report of will be made available by the notifier to the Competent Authority. This report will detail any unexpected adverse environmental effects that were observed during the general surveillance, if any, and further actions elicited as an effect of these findings, if applicable.

Summary of foreseen field trial studies focused to gain new data on environmental and human health impact from the release:
Not applicable. However, any unanticipated adverse effects on human health or the environment would be reported immediately to the Competent Authority.

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
Not known