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
Assessing and monitoring the impact on the agri-environment of genetically modified potatoes with resistance to Phytophthora infestans, causative organism of late blight disease (2012 – 2016)

Proposed period of release:
01/06/2012 to 31/12/2016

Name of the Institute(s) or Company(ies)
Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland;

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 tuberosumtuberosumcv. Desiree

2. Description of the traits and characteristics which have been introduced or modified, including marker genes and previous modifications:
Enhanced resistance to Phytophthora infestans as a result of the transformation of S. tuberosum cv. Desiree with the Resistance to P. infestans (Rpi) gene vnt1.1 from the wild potato species S. venturii.

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:
The GM line is cisgenic in nature and only contains the Rpi gene Rpi-vnt1.1 from S. venturii, along with its native promoter and terminator.

6. Brief description of the method used for the genetic modification:
The genetic modification of the S. tuberosum cv. Desiree genome was mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens, in a process termed Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (ATMT).

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 this release is to:
• Quantify the impact of GM potato cultivation on bacterial, fungal, nematode and earthworm diversity in the soil, compared to a conventional potato system.
• Identify integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and components which could be positively or negatively affected by the adoption of GM late blight resistant potato.
• Employ the project’s resources as a tool for education and demonstration in order to proactively engage and discuss the issues that most concern stakeholders and the public at large in regards to the cultivation of GM crops in Ireland.

2. Geographical location of the site:
The release site will be located at Oak Park, Co. Carlow.

3. Size of the site (m2):
In 2012 a single plot will be sown, of a size no greater than 1 acre. To ensure statistical validity of collated datasets, two sites will be sown in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Each site will not exceed 1ha in total and each site will be defined and measured by GPS, to facilitate site identification and monitoring in subsequent years.

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 same cisgenic line has been cultivated in the Netherlands and no adverse environmental impacts have been recorded. The Rpi-vnt1.1 gene does not confer any fitness advantage over any abiotic stress.

Environmental Impact and Risk Management

Summary of the potential environmental impact from the release of the GMPts:
The cisgenic potato line contains the NB-LRR gene Rpi-vnt1.1 from S. venturii, which confers broad spectrum resistance to P. infestans. Many conventional potato varieties also contain NB-LRR-genes that have been introgressed from wild Solanum species. The NB-LRR class of genes are present in many cultivated plants and the model plant organism Arabidopsis. The interaction between the protein of the Rpi gene and the elicitor (effector) of the corresponding gene in the pathogen is responsible for the generation of a hypersensitive response at the cellular level of the plant against the pathogen. This results in localised cell death surrounding the point of initial infection. As a result, the development and advancement of the pathogen is blocked, leading to a resistant phenotype. Depending on the resistance genes involved in the host-pathogen interaction, the expression of the NB-LRR genes can occur at the earlier or later stages of the infection process. The effect of the cisgene in S. tuberosum cv. Desiree is that it will display strong resistance to P. infestans, in contrast to the highly P. infestans susceptible phenotype of non-GM cv. Desiree. The potential impact of horizontally transferred antibiotic resistance from GM potato into the environment is irrelevant for this notification as the intended cisgenic material does not contain an antibiotic resistance marker gene.

Brief description of any measures taken for the management of risks:
An isolation distance of 40 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 GM sites in 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:
The field trials are designed to address the knowledge gap that exists in regards to the impact of GM blight resistant potatoes on the environment. Specifically, the proposed field experiments will provide baseline data on soil biodiversity and will also identify suitable bio-indicators that permit a better integration of GM field experimentation across specific agricultural ecosystems in the EU.

Final report

European Commission administrative information

Consent given by the Member State Competent Authority:
25/07/2012 00:00:00
Consent with conditions