The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) on June 8, 2022, announced nine new varieties and selections of mangoes. The Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) identified these mangoes after evaluating more than 200 accessions in different regions of the country. IPB is continuously screening more mangoes but a 2015 paper authored by Carolyn Alcasid detailed that 87 of these accessions were located inside the property of the IPB.
The IPB, which is located inside the University of the Philippines - Los Baños (UPLB), is the lead agency for crop breeding research in the Philippines. Inside IPB is the National Plant Genetic Resources Laboratory (NPGRL) which serves as the national repository of all crops in the Philippines except for rice. The IPB has several facilities including a gene bank and production areas which was the reason why several accessions were found inside the IPB. Out of the 87 accessions in the IPB, Alcasid and her team identified four promising selections, namely the IPB Carabao 1, Carotene mango, Tommy Atkins mango, and the Carabao strain 12-053.
The IPB Carabao 1 was found to be promising due to its moderate tolerance to anthracnose, a disease that commonly affects commercially available mango varieties. It is a fungal disease caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and can affect mango trees in all stages of production. It is characterized by black, sunken, and rapidly expanding lesions on the fruit. Once a tree is infected, it results in reduced tree vigor, withering of flowers, and failure in fruit setting.
It was named IPB Carabao 1 to indicate that it is a Carabao mango strain. “Maraming nareregister na Carabao strains. Like yung Sweet Elena, Guimaras Super — they are all Carabao strains. Ang gusto sana namin is ma-retain yung name na ‘Carabao’ doon. Ayaw na namin baguhin yung pangalan niya para identified na talagang Carabao siya (Many Carabao strains are already registered like Sweet Elena and Guimaras Super. What we hope to happen is to retain the word ‘Carabao’ for the variety name so people can easily identify that it’s a Carabao strain) ,” Alcasid told Agriculture Online.
“Kasi minsan nakakalito. Halimbawa, yung variety na ‘Corcino, mag-iisip pa kami Carabao ba siya o hindi ba siya Carabao (It’s confusing sometimes. As an example, when we talk about the Corcino, people tend to to twink twice whether it is a Carabao strain or not),” Alcasid added.
Other mango selections found in the IPB are the Carotene mango and the Tommy Atkins mango, which are both red-type mangoes. They are recommended for mango lovers who are cautious of their blood sugar level as both mangoes have a low Brix level. The Carotene mango only has 13.64 °Bx while the Tommy Atkins mango has 12.55 °Bx. The Carotene mango also has a higher vitamin A content compared to other mango varieties such as Carabao, Apple, Katchamita, Huani, and Pico. This is the very reason why it was named Carotene which alludes to beta-carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A.
Both Carotene and Tommy Atkins are moderately tolerant to anthracnose and least susceptible to fruit flies, which are pests that infect mango fruit with their eggs. Between the 55th and 60th day after flower induction, female fruit flies puncture the peel of mango fruits to lay their eggs inside the mango. Larvae would then grow inside the mango and eat the fruit from the inside.
The last mango selection is Carabao mango strain 12-053. It is still currently undergoing morphological characterization but a research team in IPB has already found that it is moderately tolerant to anthracnose.
The IPB Carabao 1 has already been registered with the Germplasm and Technology Release and Registered Office (GTRRO) of IPB while the Carotene mango and Tommy Atkins mango have ongoing applications with the said office.
GTRRO is a registration office in the IPB that screens and recommends promising selections. Before the office approves an application, selections are evaluated for three years to determine if it has outstanding or unique traits.
“Once dumaan sa GTRRO, confident ang Institute na ito ay magiging variety (Once a selection has been registered with GTRRO, this means that the IPB is confident it will eventually become a variety),” Alcasid explained.
Selections that are successfully registered under GTRRO will then have to register at the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI). A selection can only be considered as a variety and be recommended to farmers once it is recognized by NSIC.
Photo courtesy of IPB.