Home Science & Technology DOST-PCAARRD aims for higher coconut productivity through genomics projects

DOST-PCAARRD aims for higher coconut productivity through genomics projects

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TWO spin-off projects on coconut genetic and varietal improvement are expected to boost the country’s coconut industry.

The two projects kicked off following the success of the Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) for Coconut, particularly the use of genomics, genetics, and molecular marker-assisted breeding for a competitive and sustainable Philippine Coconut Industry.

The two projects will be implemented by the National Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMDB), University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), and Institute of Plant Breeding, UP Los Baños (IPB-UPLB).

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), which prioritizes coconut among other commodities, funds the projects.

The first project, “Curation, validation and utilization of coconut transcriptome sequences for gene-based marker development” aims to generate accurate and consistent transcriptomes of seven Philippine coconut varieties and use their sequences for the development of gene-based markers.

The gene-based markers will be used for coconut genetic and varietal improvement. Coconut breeders are expected to benefit in utilizing these markers to target desired traits such as high nut yield and high coco water quality, among many other characteristics.

With 20 years of continued research and development, the project hopes that breeders could introduce a range of new coconut varieties to farmers.

The second project focuses on evaluating a coconut gene expression and its effect on oil biosynthesis. Like the first project, it also pursues higher coconut productivity by validating the expression of a coconut gene in an experimental model system.

The generation of gene-based markers with target traits is expected to boost the competitive edge of the local supply in the international market. This will ultimately help the industry, especially the local farmers, in achieving a more sustainable source of livelihood.

These two projects were reviewed in an inception meeting held recently at the Council’s headquarters. In attendance were Dr. Dolores A. Ramirez, national scientist, and Dr. Benigno D. Peczon, who both served as technical evaluators as well as Crops Research Division (CRD) staff members led by its Assistant Director Dr. Edna A. Anit. (RONDA Balita Online News)

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RAMON EFREN R. LAZARO of Bocaue, Bulacan was a former anchor and marketing director of Radyo Bulacan -- Ang Radyo ng Bawat Bulakenyo . He was also a former reporter of CLTV36 and Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc.. Graduated in Gregorio Araneta University Foundation in BS Agriculture and studied at Mapua Institute of Technology. He is presently a correspondent in Philippine Star and contributor at Mabuhay Newspaper in Bulacan. Currently the President of Philippines Science Journalist - Bulacan Chapter

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