Two sets of potatoes will be planted and monitored to asses how the genes from two wild potato varieties impact on late blight in the UK.
Genes with potentially protective characteristics were isolated from wild South American spuds that produce tiny tubers and are inedible.
Professor Jonathan Jones, from the Sainsbury Laboratory at Norwich Science Park, told the BBC: "We have isolated genes from wild species that confer resistance.
"UK potato growers spray crops 10-15 times a year and in 2007 Europe ran out of chemicals to control blight, it was such a wet year.
"If our research is successful, this will cut chemicals and carbon dioxide generated by the use of tractors."
A security fence and surveillance costing £20,000 has been erected after vandals destroyed GM crops during a previous study.
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