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The National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) had awarded Dr. Dindo Agustin A. Tabanao, a plant breeder at Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), as 2012 Outstanding Young Scientist in the field of Applied Plant Sciences during its 34th Annual Scientific Conference, July 12.

Tabanao, program leader of PhilRice’s Developing Technologies to Surpass the Dry Season Irrigated Lowland Rice Yield Plateau, was cited for his “research activities that made significant impacts in the fields of genetics and plant breeding in the country and in other countries.”

NAST recognized his pioneering work on assessing genetic relationships and differentiating rice varieties through the use of molecular marker data. This work resulted in a more efficient selection of rice breeding populations.

Through his initiatives on marker-aided breeding program, PhilRice had produced high-yielding varieties with resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Meanwhile, PhilRice biotechnology and soil experts and an economist were also recognized this second quarter during the annual meeting and scientific conference of Philippine Society of Soil Science and Technology (PSSST), Pest Management Council of the Philippines (PMCP), and Philippine Association for Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology (PAPTCB).


Studies on applying fertilizers on rice garnered awards during the 15th Annual Meeting and Scientific Conference, May 16-18.

Evelyn J. Javier’s paper titled, Soil microbial community functional structure and enzyme activities in paddy soils after eight years of organic fertilization bagged the best paper in the senior category.

Co-authored by Venecio U. Ultra Jr of the Catholic University of Daegu in  Gyongsan City, Republic of Korea, results showed that years of applying inorganic and organic in paddy soil would result in diversity of microorganisms and enzyme activities. Type of fertilizers applied in the long term could “greatly affect microbial properties, which are considered to be sensitive indicators of ecosystem responses and soil health.”

Another Javier output, Micronutrient dynamics in a paddy soil with long term organic fertilization won second best poster. The research pointed out that applying organic fertilizers for eight years could have diminished available soil nutrients such as zinc and copper.

They also found a continuous increase in manganese and iron with the use of rice straw alone or when combined with effective microorganism bokashi inoculant. Increase was less when organic fertilizers were combined with inorganic fertilizers than when applying organic or inorganic alone. Co-authors are Eve Daphne O. Radam, Corazon A. Santin, and Annie E. Espiritu.

The entry, Are Soil Macronutrients depleted or built-up in long-term application of organic fertilizers in paddy soil led by Annie E. Espiritu won as best poster. The study showed that continuous application of organic fertilizers did not build up major soil nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium and that there is a need to apply the nutrients to optimize high-yielding varieties. Co-authors are Corazon A. Santin and Evelyn F. Javier.


Dr. Jesusa C. Beltran won best paper in the weeds science category, during the 43rd PMCP Anniversary and Annual Scientific Conference, May 8-11. Her study titled, Economic implications of herbicide resistance and high labor costs for management of annual barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crusgalli) in Philippine rice farming systems indicated that increasing labor costs in the country will likely promote herbicide application.

Beltran reminded farmers to manage herbicide to avoid developing weed resistance. She found that “greater intensities of chemical application for weed control could increase resistance development, which is demonstrated to reduce farm profit.”


The studies titled, Improving amylose content of the rice variety PSB Rc68 (Sacobia) through somaclonal variation and New saline tolerant rice varieties developed through anther culture were adjudged best and 2nd best poster, respectively, during the 8th PAPTCB Scientific Conference, April 23-28.

The best poster, a research led by Christopher C. Cabusora, revealed that inflorescence culture of PSB Rc68 had generated lines with improved amylose content, crude protein, and milling recover; thus, increasing the quality and nutritional value of rice. His co-authors are Dr. Nenita V. Desamero, Josielyn C. Bagarra, Flora Joy B. Garcia, Henry T. Ticman, Martha V. Chico, King B. Bergonio, and Joy Bartolome A. Duldulao.

Meanwhile, the second best poster concluded that using anther culture in developing saline-tolerant varieties NSIC Rc186, Rc188, Rc 290, Rc292, and Rc294, had raised salinity tolerance, pest resistance, and grain and eating quality of breeding lines.  Dr. Nenita V. Desamero and Thelma F. Padolina co-authored the paper.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute