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Teagasc at BTYSTE: Breeding potatoes for the future

Teagasc at BTYSTE: Breeding potatoes for the future

We Irish love our potatoes. Ireland’s average annual potato consumption is 85kg per person – two-and-a-half times higher than the world average. Find out about Teagasc potato research into breeding potatoes, including the rooster variety from Teagasc researchers Catriona Boyle and Denis Griffin

Above image: Rooster potatoes, credit Denis Griffin

Our researchers at Teagasc have been breeding potatoes since 1962 and have bred some really popular varieties that you will see in your local supermarket. The most popular potato we have bred is called the ‘Rooster’.

It’s important to keep breeding new varieties of potatoes so that we can keep on top of new pests and diseases.

Climate change, reducing pesticide use and feeding an expanding global population presents a lot of challenges to our potato breeders. They are focusing on developing varieties that are resistant to drought, as well as to important diseases affecting our potato crops.

Our potato researchers are using the latest genome-based breeding programmes to speed up the breeding process. The recently released Buster variety was the first variety to come from our new strategic breeding programme.

Such is their level of expertise, Irish potato researchers are involved with potato growing and research projects as far away as Africa. In fact, Irish-bred potatoes are grown on every continent, marketed by Irish Potato Marketing.

So, whether you prefer mashed or roast potatoes, chips or crisps, you can thank Teagasc potato researchers for your highly nutritious meal or snack.

Article by Catriona Boyle and Denis Griffin.

In the video below Denis Griffin talks about Teagasc's relationship with IPM and why Irish potatoes are marketed around the world.

Teagasc – the Agriculture and Food Development Authority – is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities in Ireland.

Every year we have a stand at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE). BTYSTE 2022 takes place from January 12th to 14th. The Teagasc Virtual Stand can be visited at BTYSTE 2022 here.

We also have a Teagasc prize, awarded to the student project in the main exhibition area that best demonstrates a thorough understanding of the science of agricultural or food production, or the use of science to improve technologies available to agricultural or food production.

Follow the story on social media @BTYSTE #BTYSTE2022 https://btyoungscientist.com/