The maize plants have been edited using the CRISPR/Cas9 system resulting in the mutation of either the ATR or ATM gene. There are three events: one event with one additional DNA basepair in the ATR gene, one event with one additional DNA basepair in the ATM gene and one event with a 1272 bp deletion in the ATR gene. The result of these alterations is that these genes are no longer functional. The ATR and ATM genes gene plays a role in the repair of DNA damage and in these plants faults in the DNA are believed to accumulate to a higher degree.
The field trial location is surrounded by a 1.80 m high wired fence to prevent accidental trespassing and accidental removal or spread of GM material.
The risk of spread of the modified properties to the environment is mitigated by removing the tassel, or in exceptional cases hulling the tassel, thus preventing the spread of modified pollen to non-modified maize plants in the surroundings. The formed modified seeds are well retained in the cobs and these cobs will be very carefully hand harvested, thus preventing any spread of seeds to the environment. In case some seeds would be lost during the harvest, they are not expected to result in the establishment of the maize outside the field.
Information for the public
Public information presented according to the provisions of Directive 2001/18/EC
Information related to the decision procedure
19 March 2019: The Biosafety Advisory Council issues a positive advice for this trial.
12 April 2019: The Federal Ministers give a positive decision (with conditions) for this trial.