ARS-PLMC5-6 (C5): plum pox virus resistant plum

GMTW-119 , updated 13 Sep 2011
ARS-PLMC5-6
C5
PPV resistant plum
fruit production
deregluated in the USA for environmental release in 2007 and for food/feed in 2009, but currently no commericialisation planned in the USA

Summary

GM plum C5 has been modified to be resistant again the plum pox virus (PPV) through several insert GM constructs. It carries antibiotic resistance against ampilicin (nptI). C5 has been released for the first time in 1992 in the US, where - after only two small-scale field trials a permit for commercial cultivation was granted. There is no indication that C5 is currently commercially used inthe USA. In Europe, C5 has been released since the 1990s, both in EU memberstates as well as in countries that only joined the EU later - leading to a lack of accessible information about these releases. It is currently growing in trials in Roemania and Prag.

Tree species

Prunus domestica
plum
European plum
hybrid Stanley C5 (Honey Sweet), also described as cultivar Bluebyrd
Stone fruit species that includes several varieties (e.g. Common plums, damsons, mirabelle); cultivated in Europe, Asia (China) and parts of the Americas; pollinated by bees.

Genetic modification

Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation

Trial locations

Locationsort icon Country
Bistrita Romania
Llíria Spain
Poland Poland
Praha-Ruzyně Czech Republic
Romania Romania
Spain Spain
West Virginia (WV) USA

USA 1990-99

unknown
acreage not provided
unknown
West Virginia (WV)
unknown
0.5
unknown
West Virginia (WV)

Europe

unknown
unknown
unknown
Romania
2006 - 2012
260 m2
unknown
Praha-Ruzyně
2005 - 2010
1200 m2
unknown
Llíria
unknown
unknown
unknown
Spain
2007 - 2013
1400 m2
unknown
Bistrita
2011 - 2019
1200 m2
unknown
Bistrita
unknown
unknown
unknown
Poland

Detailed description

Genetic modification

According to one of the notifiers of trials with plum C5, "plum hypocotyl slices were transformed with the coat protein (CP) gene of Plum pox virus (PPV-CP) following cocultivation with Agrobacterium tumefaciens containing the plasmid pGA482GG/PPV-CP-33. This binary vector carries the PPV-CP gene construct, as well as the chimeric neomycin phosphotransferase and beta-glucuronidase genes." (JRC 2007)
Besides the intended three full-lengthGM constructs, ARS-PLMC5-6 also contains seven re-arranged GM constructs (four times nptII, two uidA and one re-arranged coat protein).
In 2006, the French NGO Inf'OGM wrote a report about the first ten years of trials (1996-2006) with the GM plum C5 in Romenia:
Scientific basis for the modification of plum trees
Since the beginning of the project several scientific articles have been published. The most revealing is probably the one published in the journal 'Virus Research; in 2000, which summarises the results obtained and the objects aimed for. The programme of breeding transgenic plum trees first of all started through the isolation of a coding viral gene for the coating protein (CP) of the plum pox virus and its transgenic expression in a tobacco plant. Following this stage, a transgene expressing this CP was inserted in plum trees by means of infection in the soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This latter, responsible for tumors or galls, has the ability to transfer parts of its genetic heritage to certain plants. Different levels of expression of this protein have been obtained. After three years of exposure in the greenhouse, a clone from these transgenic plum trees named C-5 was isolated as being resistant to the virus, though extinction of the expression of the wildtype viral protein during the virus' replication cycle within the infected plant. Following these results, the research switched to the field (in 1996), in Poland, Romania, and Spain, where the virus spread. In the fields, these trees showed the same capacity for resistance to the virus. Even though virus replication occurred on some parts of the plant, the plants did not suffer significant development of the disease. This phenomenon was still unexplained at the time of this article [2006], but the researchers supposed that the causes could probably be found in the environmental conditions of that are different between greenhouse and field. It's thus important to note that the transgenic plants are not free from the virus, but are subject to weak replication of the latter. In its conclusion this article announces that the researchers will work in the future on evaluating the toxicity and allergenicity of the transgenic fruits. Furthermore, transgenic trees will be developed for expression of CP only in the vegetative parts of the plant not eaten by man."
(Inf'OGM 2006)

Trials & projects

One trial was conducted in the USA before it got deregulated (95-205-02r: PPV resistant plum with ARMG nptII). A second, earlier trial (92-191-01r: PRV resistant plum in the APHIS database also refers to the same petition data, but it seems that this trial described as confering Papaya ringspot virus resistance and Plum pox virus as a cross-resistance is a different GM event.
In Europe, plum C5 has been released in field trials in Poland and Romania, before and after they joined the EU. Development of the GM tree was supported as part of the EU project TRANSVIR (2003-2006).

Biosafety Clearing House

There is no entry for a plum (Prunus domestica) in the Biosafety Clearing House database.