Genetically modified potatoes expressing antibacterial protein T4 lysozyme may offer effective control strategies for bacterial pathogens causing severe potato diseases. Apart from this beneficial effect, it is very important to investigate such engineered potatoes carefully for potential adverse effects on potato-associated bacteria which frequently exhibit plant beneficial functions such as plant growth promotion and antagonism towards pathogens invading the plant. Two field experiments were carried out in Spain to analyze the potential effects of conventional and genetically modified T4-lysozyme producing potatoes on shoot-associated bacteria. The first baseline field trial 2002 was performed in Meliana in which three conventional potato lines, Achirana Inta, Desirée, and Merkur, were cultivated and sampled at flowering. The second field trial was conducted in Cella in 2003 in order to compare the effects of a senescent transgenic, T4 lysozyme expressing potato trait, Desirée DL 12, with its isogenic, non-transformed parental line Desirée. Structural characteristics of potato shoot-associated bacteria was assayed by 16S rRNA-based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and dominant community members within T-RFLP profiles were identified by sequence analysis of generated 16S rRNA gene libraries. Cultivable bacteria isolated from shoots of potatoes grown in the Meliana field trial were monitored for antibiosis against Ralstonia solanacearum, whereas isolates derived from shoots of potatoes cultivated in the Cella trial were screened for antagonism against Ralstonia solanacearum and Rhizoctonia solani, and for 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase production. Determined antagonists were identified by 16S rRNA gene analysis. All potato traits hosted a cultivar-specific community of bacteria with antagonism against the pathogens and/or potential to produce ACC deaminase. Several antagonists obtained from the Cella field potatoes were also observed as ACC deaminase producers. Community profiling revealed a greater diversity differentiation between the senescent T4 lysozyme expressing and parental Desirée lines grown in the Cella field as compared to the variations between the three flowering conventional lines cultivated in the Meliana field trial. Effects of the two varying field sites and different vegetation stages were greater than those of T4 lysozyme when investigating the community composition of bacteria colonizing the shoots of the Desirée line cultivated in both field trials.