Fungicide, Mangroves, Forest Vines, and Shrimps in DOST’s Mind
Mindanao researchers develop organic fungicide from Tasmannia piperita
THE agriculture industry is dependent on inorganic fertilizers and pesticides.
However, due to health hazards and the burden of additional cost to the farmer, there is a need to develop organic pesticides especially for vegetables.
To respond to this challenge, the Central Mindanao University (CMU) screened 10 potential indigenous plants from Mindanao. Of these, it was found that the leaves of Tasmannia piperita (Hook.f.) Miers are effective when used as organic fungicide.
T. piperita is a shrub or treelet indigenous to the Philippines, Borneo, Sulawesi, Moluccas, Flores, New Guinea, and Australia. It grows in exposed ridges and peaks of high-altitude mossy forests.
Since it uses local ingredients, the natural fungicide is affordable to vegetable growers. Most importantly, using the fungicide can be safe for non-target organisms and to human health.
When used on plants, the organic fungicide can prevent leaf spot disease of lettuce caused by Alternaria brassicae and the late blight disease of tomato caused by Phytophthora infestans.
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) funded the research.
Research to rehabilitate critical mangrove, coastal forests in Leyte underway
Mangroves and coastal forests are important especially to the marine ecosystem in the community.
Specifically, mangroves are home to a variety of fish, crab, shrimp, and mollusk species, while coastal forests serve as nurseries for a huge number of fish species.
To prevent the disappearance of mangroves and coastal forests in Baybay City in Western Coast of Leyte and the municipality of Isabel in Northwestern Leyte, the project, “Rehabilitation Strategies for Critical Mangrove and Coastal Forests in Coastal Communities of Western and Northwestern Leyte,” was launched. It is led by the Visayas State University (VSU) and PASAR Corporation.
The project covers 5.18 hectares of degraded mangroves in Barangays Jaena and Sabang, Baybay City and Barangay Tolingon and PASAR in Isabel, Leyte.
Among the initiatives done through the project are community visits and partnership-building. The visits involved informal discussions to increase awareness, interest, support, and participation of the community on rehabilitation efforts.
Production of mangroves and beach forest planting stocks are also being done through the development of onsite nurseries.
Project addresses sustainable supply of forest vines in CamSur and Albay
One of the best sources of raw materials for handicraft production is forest vines.
Although these are abundant in Philippine forests, the supply may not meet demand, especially since the country is the second largest world producer of handicrafts.
Natural regeneration is one of the ways on how to produce forest vines in the country. However, relying on this may not be enough to meet industry demand.
A project funded by the DOST-PCAARRD titled, “Biological Studies of Economically Important Forest Vines in Camarines Sur and Albay Provinces,” aimed to address the sustainable supply of forest vines.
Specifically, the project aims to establish nurseries and plantation of forest vines as well as provide information on the phenology, ecology, and factors affecting the natural regeneration of forest vines to eventually identify appropriate propagation techniques. The project is also expected to come up with volume estimate of selected economically important forest vines in Camarines Sur and Albay provinces.
Eventually, all the information generated by the project will be inputted in the database of forest vines in the Philippines.
The project is being implemented by the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry (BUCAF), and Philippine Science High School – Goa Campus.
Project on profile of shrimp exposed to fluctuating temperatures kicks off
A newly-approved project titled, “Transcriptome and Gut Metagenome Profile of Penaeus vannamei Exposed to Fluctuating Environmental Temperatures” has recently started.
The project aims to determine the muscle, haemolymph and hepatopancreas transcriptome profile of P. vannamei exposed to fluctuating temperatures; elucidate the influence of fluctuating temperatures on the microbiome metagenomic profile of P. vannamei; and to develop a strategy to prevent microbial infection and stunted growth of cultured P. vannamei due to temperature stress.
Led by Angel Queenee Dequito, the project’s inception meeting was held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas in Iloilo City on August 28, 2019.
The Inland Aquatic Resources Research Division (IARRD) of the DOST-PCAARRD led the meeting.
This project is one of the anchor projects of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Visayas and is being funded by DOST.
Dr. Adelaida T. Calpe, senior science research specialist and head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of IARRD-PCAARRD, presented the DOST Guidelines and the Rules and regulations in the implementation of Grants-in-Aid (GIA)-funded projects and discussed the roles of researchers, implementing agency, collaborating agencies, and PCAARRD in the implementation of the project. They also finalized the project’s methodology, work plan, and changes in the approved project.
The project is envisioned to come up with a practical approach to prevent stunted growth and microbial infection in farmed shrimp in the country (DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services).
All images from DOST-PCAARRD.