Enhancing Agricultural Productivity Using Mutation
Breeding and Biotechnology

Improvement of Traditional Rice Varieties by Gamma Irradiation(Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia [FNCA] Project on “Mutation Breeding for Sustainable Agriculture in Asia”)

TraditionalRice
Project Leader:

Adelaida C. Barrida
Senior Science Research Specialist
Agriculture  Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Dimaano, Arvin O.
Costimiano, Eduardo C.
Lazo, Dolores M.
Semana, Rosalie M.

Garcia, Ricky E.
Objective: The project aims to improve the agronomic characteristics of traditional rice varieties using gamma irradiation, and to develop mutants that have desirable agronomic traits and are adaptable to organic farming.
Brief Description:

This FNCA project focuses on mutation breeding as a tool for sustainable agriculture in Asia by using gamma radiation and/or ion-beam.  The project aims to establish mutant varieties that are: (1) resistant to various environmental stresses, (2) early maturing, and  (3)  low-input  based on the country’s demands.

The Philippines’ participation in this FNCA project employs the application of organic farming for sustainable agriculture through the use of organic and bio-fertilizers, as well as by spraying carrageenan. Two traditional rice varieties (Umangan and Native Borie) from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) were used as breeding materials.
Significance/Impact: Development of promising mutant lines in two traditional rice varieties by organic farming or low-input agriculture will help in agricultural sustainability. Organic farming is more economical not only to farmers in terms of income, but also to the general public for better health and environment.
Target Beneficiaries: Farmers and general public
Project Duration: 2013 to 2016
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Enhancing Productivity of Locally Underused Crops Through Mutated Germplasm and Evaluation of Soil, Nutrient and Water Management Practices: Study 1:  Enhancing the Agricultural Productivity of Adlai  (Coix    lacryma-jobi L.) by Nuclear Technique,  Soil and Water Management

Germplasm
Project Leader:

Faye G. Rivera
Science Research Specialist II
Agriculture Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Rallos, Roland V.

Mamaril, Hilarion E.
Objective: To establish best soil, nutrient and water management and practices for increased adlai crop productivity.
Brief Description:

This project is under the IAEA RAS 5/064 project entitled ”Enhancing Productivity of Locally-underused Crops through Dissemination of Mutated Germplasm and Evaluation of Soil, Nutrient and Water Management Practices”.

To date, there are very few studies or technologies on nutrient and water management practices of adlai since this is organically grown. The use of stable isotope tracer technique had been developed as a tool in research and development particularly in areas of soil fertility, fertilizer sources, optimal and rational use of nutrients and efficient use of water. Thus, this technique has the distinct advantage of being able to provide a direct quantitative measurement of the influence of different factors on the environment (IAEA, 2001) and could also be used to complement the traditional method of assessing best fertilizer management for increasing productivity of adlai.
Significance/Impact: Improved nutrient and water management practices for increasing the productivity of adlai  as an alternative staple food for Filipinos.
Target Beneficiaries: Farmers, researchers, local government units, and  non-government units.
Project Duration: 2012 to 2015
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Enhancing Productivity of Locally Underused Crops through Mutated Germplasm and Evaluation of Soil, Nutrient and Water Management Practices: Study 2:  Improvement of Adlai ( Coix lacryma-jobi L.) by Gamma Irradiation

Germplasm2
Project Leader:

Adelaida C. Barrida
Senior Science Research Specialist
Agriculture  Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Veluz, Ana Maria S.
Rallos, Roland V.
Manrique, Mary Jayne C.
Mamaril, Hilarion E.

Costimiano, Eduardo C.
Objective: 1. To assess crop genotype response to nutrient and water use through isotopic techniques.
2. To develop mutant variety of adlai with desirable/improved agronomic traits using gamma irradiation.
Brief Description:

Adlai grows in many parts of the country but is underutilized. Adlai, also known as Job's Tears (Coix lacryma-jobi L.), comes from the family Poaceae , the same family of grass to which  wheat, corn and rice belong. The plant is considered nutritious and potentially a good substitute to rice and corn. It is 50 percent starch, 14 percent protein and only 6 percent fat.

Currently,  there is no  available technology for adlai particularly on the nutrient and water management practices since this crop is organically grown and most are rain-fed.  Also, availability of varieties that are short, lodging resistant and early maturing have not yet been reported.
Significance/Impact:

The application of isotopic techniques has been developed to aid in research and development particularly in areas of soil fertility, fertilizer sources, optimal and rational use of nutrients,  and economic water use through direct application of techniques in agricultural farms. By this method, a package of nutrient and water management practices for adlai will be available in the future.

The use of mutation breeding can offer good results especially on improving the agronomic traits of the plants. Production of potential mutants that are short, early-maturing and high-yielding is advantageous especially to the farmers.
Target Beneficiaries: Farmers and agricultural sector.
Project Duration: 2012 to 2015
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S & T- based Soil Nutrient and Water Management for Coffee in the Philippines:
Component 1. Efficient Nutrient Management for Enhanced Coffee Productivity through Isotope Tracer   and Related Techniques  

Coffee
Project Leader:

Faye G. Rivera
Science Research Specialist II
Agriculture  Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Rallos, Roland V.
Mamaril, Hilarion E.
De Jesus, Maribel C.
Cullano, Willy Hart C.
Loberiza, Zenaida R.
Maat, Erwin A.
Manrique, Mary Jayne C.
Dimaano, Arvin O.

Lazo, Dolores M.
Objective: To formulate and update fertilizer recommendation for the top coffee producing areas of the Philippines.
Brief Description: This project activity will lead towards developing best soil nutrient management systems for increased  and sustainable coffee crop productivity and quality through  isotope tracers and related techniques.  This will also allow the re-evaluation of the present farm practices to supply nutrient demand of coffee, and reduce losses by increasing crop nutrient use efficiency.  As a result of this study, it will be promising to come out with a reliable set of recommendations that are of great value to our declining coffee farmers and end-users.
Significance/Impact: Improved and updated fertilizer recommendation for increased and sustainable coffee productivity and quality.
Target Beneficiaries: Backyard farmers, commercial coffee growers, researchers and scientists, government agencies, research and academic institutions, local government units and non-government organizations.
Project Duration: February 2015– December 2016.
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Enhancing Agricultural Productivity in Mindanao through Nuclear Technology:  Fruit Crops (Mangosteen and Cashew)

FruitCrops
Project Leader:

Ana Maria S. Veluz
Senior Science Research Specialist
Agriculture  Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Aurigue, Fernando B.
Dimaano, Arvin O.
Semana, Rosalie M.
Garcia, Ricky E.
Costimiano, Hilarion E.

Sahagun, Jorge R. (on study leave)
Objective:

General:  To develop improved high-value fruit crops (mangosteen and cashew) through induced mutations, in vitro culture and biotechniques.  

Specific:
a.    To increase yield of fruits and nuts
b.    To induce mutations for improved quality of fruits and nuts
c.    To induce mutants with short stature (dwarf) to facilitate harvesting
d.  To induce  mutation  for earliness and non-seasonal fruit crops

Brief Description:

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has developed a Medium-Term Development Plan (NEDA MTPDP, 2005) for Mindanao’s transformation into the nation’s food basket through research and development intervention, infrastructure development, and application of postharvest technologies.  In line with the Government’s effort in Mindanao, the  PNRI Agriculture Research Section is applying mutation, in vitro culture and related nuclear techniques for the development of  improved  high-value  fruit crops.

Mangosteen and cashew, which are considered as high-value crops in the worldwide market, are important tropical fruits in the Philippines.   Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.), which is considered as the “Queen of Fruits” as well as the finest fruit in the world, is grown abundantly in Mindanao. It bears fruit only during a four-month peak period from May to August.  Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.)  is an evergreen tree that is grown for its edible nuts and fruits and is a good species for reforestation, especially in areas with poor soil and low rainfall. Its production fluctuates year to year depending on the severity of pest and disease damage.

The lack of high-quality planting materials and non-seasonal high-yielding varieties has limited the productivity of these crops. The lifecycle of fruit trees is quite long and the conventional breeding approach is time-consuming. Through this project, radiation-induced mutation, coupled with in vitro culture techniques, is being used for the development of new genetically improved mutant varieties of mangosteen and cashew.

Significance/Impact: Improved mutant varieties of mangosteen and cashew.
Target Beneficiaries: Farmers, agricultural sectors, researchers and fruit industry.
Project Duration: 2006 to 2015
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Mutation Breeding of Priority Agricultural Crops:   Component  1 – Ornamentals

AgriculturalCrops
Project Leader:

Fernando B. Aurigue
Senior Science Research Specialist
Agriculture  Research Section
Atomic research Division
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Project Staff:

Veluz, Ana Maria S.
Manrique, Mary Jane C.
Dimaano, Arvin O.
Sahagun, Jorge R.
Semana, Rosalie M.
Garcia, Ricky E.
Costimiano, Eduardo C.

Objective: To develop new or improved varieties of Spathoglottis orchids, foliage-type Anthurium, Hoya, and other ornamental plants by gamma irradiation; to transfer the technology of developing new varieties by mutation induction through the use of gamma radiation to the private sector, and  to initiate the establishment of a thriving industry for Spathoglottis orchids, foliage-type Anthurium, Hoya, and other ornamental plants with the help of the project cooperators.
Brief Description: The project deals with the use of gamma radiation in agriculture, specifically its application in plant breeding, to develop mutant varieties. Radiosensitivity studies, evaluation/ selection, vegetative generation advancement, and mass propagation techniques are its components.  Short of registering the mutants produced with the National Seed Industry Council of the Bureau of Plant Industry- Department of Agriculture, the putative mutants generated become part of the germplasm which will be continuously maintained and observed as experimental materials.
Significance/Impact:

This project is supportive of the planned launching of export challenge for the floriculture industry in 2016 by the government and the private sectors. The project’s research, development and extension  activities are in the confines of the PNRI thrust for agriculture. However, these activities would require the participation of the industry’s key-players  like the officers and members of both the Philippine Orchid Society and the Philippine Horticultural Society to promote mutual cooperation between the proponent and the cooperators.  Through PNRI, the government could provide gardening enthusiasts and entrepreneurs  with new  and improved  varieties of Spathoglottis  ground orchids, foliage-type Anthurium, hoyas and other ornamental plants  that small and medium scale-growers may propagate and commercialize for added income and employment.  It is hoped that the produce would be exported and may become globally competitive with other varieties of the same plant in the niche market.

With the continuous application of new technologies developed with  the help and active participation of  cooperators, new varieties of ornamental plants can be expected every year even from commercial growers who are convinced to apply the  technologies promoted to them. The implications of this outcome are the constant production of new varieties in commercial quantities for export, leading to   a steady increase in foreign reserves, and employment of more individuals every year or a decrease in unemployment rate.

Target Beneficiaries: Researchers, plant breeders, ornamental plant growers, commercial nurseries/farms, floriculture industry, hobbyists/private collectors, national and international germplasm collection (gene banks).
Project Duration: August 2007 to December 2015
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NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN PRECISION FARMING TO ENHANCE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY

Nuclear Techniques and Fertigation to Improve Water and Nutrient-Use Efficiencies of Mungbean (RAS5/0/56)

Mungbean
Project Leader:

Roland V. Rallos
Science Research Specialist  II
Agriculture Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Rivera, Faye G.

Mamaril, Hilarion E.
Objective: To increase water and nutrient utilization efficiency through improved fertigation and isotope tracer techniques.
Brief Description:

The challenge for crop production over the coming years will be to use agricultural inputs in a sustainable way. In general, nitrogen (N) becomes one of the most limiting factors for crop productivity, especially in irrigated agriculture due to its high mobility in the soil and its vulnerability to denitrification and leaching.  To improve  the efficiency of this costly nutrient, the fertilizer placement and method of application under these conditions need to be investigated. To meet the challenge, more precise techniques are therefore necessary in achieving a higher fertilizer use efficiency.

Fertigation is known to be a precise method of applying plant nutrients through the irrigation system in order to match the current demand of the crop being nourished and irrigated. This in turn reduces the cost of production and also minimizes the groundwater pollution, thereby preventing ecological disturbances and health risks due to leaching and accumulation of nitrates in the deeper layers. Moreover, the use of tracer techniques in crop nutrition research implies important benefits beyond those of existing conventional methodologies. The method provides a precise and direct quantitative data to obtain the needed information that is valuable in the total accounting and tracing of  the fate of the applied fertilizer materials.

Significance/Impact: Development of sustainable and efficient mungbean production through improved fertigation technique.
Target Beneficiaries: Backyard farmers, commercial producers, water managers, water users associations, researchers and scientists, government agencies, research and academic institutions, local government units,  non-government organizations.
Project Duration: 2012 to 2015.
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Application of Nuclear Analytical Techniques for Efficient Nutrient and Irrigation Management in Corn Production
CornProduction
Project Leader:

Roland V. Rallos
Science Research Specialist II
Agriculture  Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Rivera, Faye G.
Mamaril, Hilarion E.
Gulitano, Wilfredo A.

Vasquez, Johanna J.
Espino, Armando Jr. N.
Agulto, Ireneo C.
Samar, Edna D.
Objective: To increase uptake and reduce loss of soil nutrients and water resources as well as to identify smart-farming technologies with high soil nutrient- and water-use efficiency through nuclear analytical techniques.
Brief Description: 

Fertilization is one of the most important agricultural practices for increasing crop productivity. This plays a vital role on the growth and development and is very crucial for achieving optimum corn production. An equally important consideration in managing intensive corn production is the supply of sufficient soil moisture for proper crop growth and optimum production.

Intensive agricultural production systems are often associated with relatively large losses of nutrients to the environment, thereby aggravating degradation. The combined problems on nutrient usage efficiency causing environmental degradation and poor crop productivity due to irrigation water scarcity are strong justifications to revisit the current crop cultural management to increase its efficiency and productivity. Moreover, precision tools and accurate techniques are very essential to resolve issues of inefficiencies and losses of nutrient and water resources in agriculture.

The use of nuclear techniques in agricultural research implies important benefits beyond those of existing conventional methodologies. This technology provides enormous advantages because it permits a direct quantitative measurement of the influence of various  factors on the environment. Isotopic and nuclear techniques have been developed and refined, permitting the research and development of solutions in areas such as soil fertility, fertilizer sources, optimal and rational use of nutrients,  and economic water use.

Significance/Impact:

1. Development of best fertilizer and irrigation recommendations for sustainable and efficient corn production

2. Reduction of farm inputs while increasing corn yield,  thereby increasing farmers’ income

Target Beneficiaries: Backyard farmers, commercial corn growers, water managers, water users associations, researchers and scientists, government agencies, research and academic institutions, local government units,  non-government organizations.
Project Duration: 2012 to 2016.
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Water Balance and Loss Assessment of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS) and Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (MARIIS): Application losses in lowland areas irrigated by UPRIIS and MARIIS
MARIIS
Project Leader:

Roland V. Rallos
Science Research Specialist II
Agriculture  Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Rivera, Faye G.
Mamaril, Hilarion E.

Mendoza, Norman DS.
Objective: To assess the application losses in UPRIIS and MARIIS and recommend measures to increase water use efficiency.
Brief Description:

Irrigation has a very important role in Philippine agriculture. As the demand for industrial, municipal, environmental protection and other uses rises, less water will be available for agriculture.  This limited amount of water for agriculture is further decreased in times of drought or emergency.  There exists a national policy wherein domestic water supply gets priority over all others within the limits of its water rights.

The best way to deal with water scarcity is to deliver, allocate and apply that limited water efficiently.  Efficient irrigation requires a systematic water management program. Such a program answers the questions of when to irrigate, how much water to apply during irrigation and how best to apply the water.  A key component of good water management is the routine monitoring and accounting of soil evaporation, crop water use, irrigation, rainfall and other losses in the system.  Reduction of losses and increase in water-use efficiency in irrigation systems will surely increase the area irrigated per system and therefore increase crop production.

Significance/Impact: 1. Assessments of water application efficiencies of different irrigation schemes for rice production.
2. Recommend measures for good water management
Target Beneficiaries: Government agencies (National Irrigation Administration, Department of Agriculture- Regional Field Units, local government units), policy makers, researchers, engineers and scientists,  academic institutions, non-government organizations (irrigator’s associations, farmers association), private sector.
Project Duration: 2012 to 2015.
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Nutrient Dynamics Assessment of Inorganic and Organic Rice-Based Farming Systems in the Pampanga River Basin through Lysimetric and Isotopic Techniques
RiceBased
Project Leader:

Roland V. Rallos
Science Research Specialist II
Agriculture  Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Rivera, Faye G.
Mamaril, Hilarion E.

Vidal, John Faustus C.
Objective: To increase utilization efficiency of soil nutrient resources in rice and rice-based farming and production systems through lysimetric and isotopic techniques.
Brief Description:

Soil and water are the basic resources in agriculture for food security. However, sustainable agriculture depends on maintaining an appropriate balance between the use and conservation of soil nutrients and water resources for crop production systems as well as for environmental protection. With the increasing cost of fertilizer inputs, one of the major challenges is to increase nutrient use efficiency.

Nuclear and isotopic techniques are very valuable tools in assessing the soil nutrient and water productivity in rice production. Stable isotopes can be used as tracers to measure the rates of uptake, storage, and cycling of water and nutrients.
Significance/Impact:

Harness the use of nuclear and isotope techniques in developing efficient and precise soil and water resources management adaptable to climate change.

The project output will contribute to the rice self-sufficiency goal of the government and will in turn increase profitability of the rice farmers in a sustainable way.

Target Beneficiaries: Rice farmers, commercial producers, water managers, water users associations, researchers and scientists, government agencies, research and academic Institutions, local government units,  non-government organizations.
Project Duration: 2014 to 2017.
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Smart Farming-based Efficient Nutrient Management to Increase Sugarcane Productivity Through Elemental Tracer and Related Techniques
SmartFarming
Project Leader:

Roland V. Rallos
Science Research Specialist II
Agriculture  Research Section
Atomic Research Division

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Project Staff:

Rivera, Faye G.
Mamaril, Hilarion E.

Labides, John Leonard R.
Guevarra, Marcelino M.
Mandac, Rosemarie L.
Tangara, Hermogene T.
Objective: To increase the crop utilization efficiency for nutrients, reduce loss of soil nutrients and reduce fertilizer application in sugarcane production through nutrient management using elemental tracer and related techniques.
Brief Description:

Most soils that have been planted with sugarcane in the Philippines are now in a state of low fertility as a result of decades of intense crop cultivation. Additionally, the current high- yielding sugarcane varieties being used have high nutrient demands.   Therefore, it is almost certain that  low and unacceptable yields of sugarcane  will result   if there is no judicious use of fertilizers and  proper soil management.

Nutrient management is always of fundamental economic importance to increase the productivity of sugarcane. Countries around the world are facing difficulty in gaining the maximum production of sugar at the present time because of the acute shortage and high costs of commercial fertilizers. Fertilizer recommendations of sugarcane reached as high as 200-500 kg N/ha, 200-300 kg P2O5/ha, and 200-600 kg K2O/ha. The ever increasing fertilizer prices and application inefficiency that cause detrimental effects to the environment raised concerns to re-evaluate and redesign the current crop cultural management to increase its efficiency and productivity.
Significance/Impact: Development of best fertilizer recommendations for sustainable and efficient sugarcane production. Increased farmers income owing to the reduction of farm inputs while increasing cane yield.
Target Beneficiaries: Sugarcane farmers, commercial producers, researchers and scientists, government agencies, research and academic institutions, LGUs, non-government organizations.
Project Duration: 2014 to 2017.
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