Albay Research Center

 

Technical Description

  • Location:  Banao, Guinobatan, Albay (Bicol Region/ Luzon)
  • Bearing:   Latitude - 12o23’N; Longitude - 123o35’E
  • Total Area:   63 hectares
  • Elevation:   100-170 m (above sea level)
  • Climate:   Type A (Wet), Max. 1.5 dry months and Max. 10.5 wet months
  • Rainfall:   299 mm (monthly ave.) or 3588 mm (yearly average)
  • Temperature:  27oC (average)
  • Soils: Parent material - volcanic ash; Soil classification – Inceptisol (order), Entic Dystrandept (sub-group);
    Guinobatan silt loam (dominant soil type)

Vision

The PCA-Albay Research Center as the Center of Excellence in the application of modern biotechnology to coconut and oil palm improvement, pest and disease management and coconut clonal propagation and embryo culture

Mision

The Center’s mission is  to formulate  integrated   management strategies for coconut pests and diseases and to apply biotechnology  in accelerating coconut production and utilization.

Objectives

  • To use biotechnology tools and processes to propagate, develop, utilize and promote coconut and other palm oil genetic resources for the benefit of the stakeholders
  • To implement the Cadang-cadang Disease Containment Program to address problems on trade restriction in the domestic and international market
  • To develop IPM strategies against major pests in coconut and coconut-based farming systems
  • To improve the embryo culture technique for the rescue of unique coconut varieties, safe coconut germplasm exchange and the commercial production of Makapuno

Technical Divisions

  • Biotechnology Division
  • Food Product Development Division

Technical Services

  • Technical assistance on the establishment of coconut tissue culture laboratories
  • Biochemical assay of coconut leaf samples for CCCVd screening
  • Pest and disease identification/advisory Technical assistance to thesis students
  • Technical assistance on farm management
  • Conduct of efficacy trials for biological control agents, chemical and cultural methodologies

R&D Breakthroughs

  • Research on Cadang-cadang disease led to the identification and elucidation of the nature of the pathogen, the Coconut Cadang-cadang Viroid (CCCVd).
  • The Oryctes baculovirus and Metarrhizium anisopliae (green muscardine fungus) were successfully mass produced in the laboratory and are now used as a principal component in the IPM program for rhinoceros beetle.
  • An integrated pest management scheme designed for the coconut mealybug, Sangiccocus sp. Four important insect predators were identified to have significant effect in suppressing pest population in the field. Application of botanical pesticides and removal of old fronds are included in the IPM strategies.
  • Derris elliptica (tubli), Azadirachta indica (neem), Gliricidia sepium (kakawate), Tagetes erecta (marigold), Vitex negundo (lagundi), Croton tiglium (tuba-tuba), Capsicum frustescens (hot pepper), Jatropha curcas (tubang bakod) are identified as potential biopesticides in controlling pests of coconut and its intercrops.
  • A reduviid bug, Peregrinator biannulipes, which preys on immature stages of copra pests, is successfully reared in the laboratory.
  • Biological, chemical and cultural methods are now used as pest management strategies against Brontispa longissima, a new invasive pest of coconut. One earwig species, two entomopathogens and a parasitoid are reared in the laboratory and released to infested plantations.
  • A non-lethal sampling procedure was devised for collecting coconut inflorescence. Coconut clones have been successfully regenerated from inflorescence and plumule. Refinement of the technique is on-going for commercial application. Some clones have been established in the field for future evaluation. One of the field-planted clones from immature inflorescence started to bear fruits.
  • The improvement of the embryo culture technology at ARC led to commercial use of the technique for mass production of true-to-type Makapuno palms nationwide.
  • DNA marker technologies (ISTR, AFLP and SSR), were developed for coconut genotyping (e.g. genetic diversity analysis, cultivar identification, hybridity and genetic fidelity testing).
  • The first coconut linkage map was constructed. The map contains about 2,000 DNA markers with several QTLs identified for high nut/oil yield, disease resistance, and other characters. The results can be applied to DNA marker-assisted breeding to fast-track the development of improved cultivars.
  • An inexpensive, large-scale process of producing galactomannan from waste Makapuno liquid endosperm was developed. Galactomannan has huge market potential since it can be a main ingredient for making cosmetic, food, pharmaceutical and industrial products.
  • A method of producing high quality virgin coconut oil (VCO) was developed based on the principle of freezing and thawing to break protein-oil emulsion followed by centrifugation.

PCA-ARC Facilities

 

For additional information, please contact:

Office of the Manager. Albay Research Center. Philippine Coconut Authority. Banao, Guinobatan 4503 Albay. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.