Could GM potatoes prove resistant to blight?
Potatoes in Ireland are typically sprayed with fungicide 10 to 12 times per year, due to the constant threat of late blight.
Late blight disease is controlled well, but this is expensive and there is an environmental impact.
"We've never met a farmer that likes to spray. It's a necessary part of the business. If there is an alternative, they are interested," said Dr Ewen Mullins, crop scientist at Teagasc.
Teagasc carried out a study of a GM potato engineered to be resistant to late blight.
This involved cutting a gene from a wild potato species and inserting it into a conventional potato.
"Many wild potatoes have strong resistance to late blight, but also many have traits we don't want," said Dr Mullins.
"Scientists in the Netherlands developed the GM potato line and through the EU funded AMIGA project we were able to examine the agri-environmental impact of this novel potato variety."
The GM potato reduced the environmental impact of potato production by up to 95pc.