The genetically modified potato lines contain two NBS-LRR-genes,
Rpi-blb1 and Rpi-blb2, from S. bulbocastanum for conferring
improved resistance to P. infestans. Many conventional potato
varieties also contain additional 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.
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 NL and since no field tolerance is
expected in the potato plants. No difference with respect to
persistence in agriculturally utilised habitats or invasiveness
into natural habitats as compared to conventional potato varieties
is expected. Through the measures which are 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 line
with non-target organisms and the effects resulting from this will
be comparable to those with conventional potato varieties.
Furthermore, no toxic or allergenic effects are expected on the
basis of the improved resistance to P. infestans or the expressed
AHAS protein. No effects on biogeochemical processes are expected,
other than those that apply also to conventional potatoes.
- Evaluate resistance to P. infestans
- Investigate the general agricultural value of the modified lines
- Produce seed potatoes for future trials
An English version of the notification including the risk
assessment is available at the EU WebSNIF website EC-JRC GMO
Register under notification number B/NL/05/03.
The consent is available at http://www.ggo-vergunningverlening-zoeken.nl
number IM 05-003) (only in Dutch).