Teagasc discusses breeding new potato varieties

Teagasc took advantage of its presence at this week’s World Potato Congress (WPC) to network with like-minded organizations, especially those undertaking similar projects regarding the breeding of new potato varieties.

According to Michael Hennessy, Head of Knowledge Transfer at Teagasc: “Collaborating with international partners provides opportunities for more comprehensive research and development results.”

Hennessy has confirmed that Teagasc remains committed to an aggressive potato development research program www.agriland.ie

“Teagasc has been involved in many projects of this nature for many years. The final payback for Irish farmers can also be important,” he said.

New varieties
Much of this work is focused on breeding new potato varieties that can bring real benefits to Irish farmers and growers in many other countries.

“Developing new varieties resistant to potato cyst nematode, or PCN, is a key goal of ongoing work at Oak Park,” Hennessy said.

“The development of the new variety Buster is extremely exciting in this regard. It is resistant to both PCN species.

Climate change, reduced pesticide use, and feeding a growing global population present many challenges for potato breeders.

Currently, Teagasc researchers are focused on developing potato varieties that are resistant to drought, as well as a range of important diseases affecting potato crops.