The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and research centers of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Zamboanga and Albay have successfully produced ex-vitro plantlets of tall, dwarf and hybrid coconut varieties.
The production of the ex-vitro plantlets of the coconut varieties was made through the Coconut Somatic Embryogenesis Technology (CSET).
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the PCA–Zamboanga Research Center (PCA-ZRC) and the PCA-Albay Research Center (PCA-ARC) are currently implementing two off-shoot projects of the CSET program.
The projects are entitled “Propagation of Quality Planting Materials of Baybay Tall (BAYT), Laguna Tall (LAGT), and Tacunan Dwarf (TACD) Coconut Varieties through CSET” and “Propagation of Quality Planting Materials of Selected Tall, Dwarf, and Hybrid Coconut Varieties through CSET” .
“The projects aim to produce quality planting materials of selected coconut varieties and increase the regeneration efficiency of the PCA-Albay Research Center CSET protocol,” the DOST chief said.
He cited that in the first year of the project implementation, the two PCA Centers were able to maintain 22,198 somatic embryos, 487 regenerants, and 55 ex vitro plantlets in the nursery ready for field planting from different tall, dwarf and hybrid coconut varieties.
“In addition, PCA-Zamboanga Research Center was also able to upgrade its tissue culture facilities to accommodate the cultures from the UP Los Baños. A total of 5,345 somatic embryos and 71 shootlets of LAGT and TACD are being maintained in PCA-ZRC.”
He said modifications on the ex-vitro transfer protocol are underway to increase survival rate of both fully developed and immature plantlets.