Researchers from the crop protection and plant breeding divisions of PhilRice received two of the major awards given during the 49th Pest Management Council of the Philippines (PMCP) Conference held in Aklan, May 10-12.
Researchers from the crop protection division (CPD), namely Edwin C. Martin, Jobelle S. Bruno, Femia R. Sandoval, Dindo King M. Donayre, and Clarence B. Codod, received the best paper award for the Weed Science Society of the Philippines for their study titled Phenotypic characteristics of weedy rice (WR) biotypes in Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.
Results of the said study found an increasing population of WR in the areas. These were also proven to germinate rapidly and had shorter growth compared with cultivated rice. This condition poses a threat to farmers’ yield and quality of grain produced as the WR can reduce rice yield by 20-90% based on earlier studies.
“Managing this pest is very challenging because it has similar characteristics to cultivated rice. We aim to conduct further studies on the extent of WR infestation in other rice areas in the country and identify its behavior in terms of nutrient absorption to spread awareness among concerned individuals and provide better control options for farmers,” Donayre, one of the authors, said.
Meanwhile, Ronalyn T. Miranda and Iahleah R. Besas from the plant breeding and biotechnology division, received the best poster award for the Philippine Phytopathological Society for their study titled Development of thermosensitive genetic male sterility (TGMS) line with resistance to bacterial leaf blight (BLB) and rice tungro virus through marker-assisted selection.
The said study developed two TGMS lines that show resistance to tungro and BLB, with 100% sterility. These lines will be used as donors in breeding hybrid rice varieties in the 2-line system.
“Improving the resistance of hybrid rice varieties to major diseases such as tungro and BLB could help farmers increase their yield while reducing farm inputs. This will help them become globally competitive,” Miranda said.
This year’s PMCP Conference has a theme, Strategic pest management, beyond ASEAN integration.
PMCP is a federation of five societies, namely, the Weed Science Society of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Entomologists, Philippine Phytopathological Society, Pest Control Association of the Philippines, and the Agricultural Pesticides Institute of the Philippines. PMCP aims to encourage and promote through scientific inquiry, the development of knowledge on pest control and its recognition as an important field of professional activity; promote research and the application of scientific knowledge in the field of pest control; encourage the interchange of technical information and ideas among members; and cooperate with the government in all matters of national concern in the field of pest control.