PhilRice soil scientists and researchers shone with three best paper awards at the 21st Philippine Society of Soil Science and Technology (PSSST) Annual Meeting and Scientific Conference held in Davao City, May 2-5. The event highlighted innovations in soil science for improved ecosystem.

Under the Senior Category, Jayvee A. Cruz, Josef Mikhail R. Bautista, Editha V. Evangelista, Alexandra R. Agpaoa, Jonathan M. Niones, Trinidad C. Fernando, Roel R. Suralta, and Erlinda S. Paterno placed second for their paper Variation in growth of rice varieties in response to inoculation with plant growth-promoting actinomycete.

Their study revealed that actinomycete (Streptomyces mutabilis) can be a potential bioinoculant because it helps improve seedling vigor, shoot, and root growth and development of selected irrigated lowland rice varieties such as NSIC Rc 122 and Rc 222.

For the Junior Category, Central Luzon State University student-researcher Paul John M. Pangilinan and professor, Florida C. Garcia, with PhilRice researchers Wilfredo B. Collado, Jennifer T. Niones, Evangelista, and Cruz, and University of the Philippines Diliman Researcher Maria Auxilia T. Siringan received the 1st place award for their paper Soil microbial functional diversity under long-term irrigated lowland rice ecosystem.

The study suggested that long-term application of fertilizer increases diversity of beneficial microbial communities in the soil. It also improves the potential of free living nitrogen-fixing bacteria as effective plant growth promoter.

Meanwhile, Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry Student-researchers Christian Lits O. Delfino and Sonny B. Vista, with their professor Judith R. Chavez, and PhilRice scientist, Cruz also won 3rd place in the same category for their paper Growth and yield performance of blond red rice (Oryza sativa L.) inoculated with actinomycetes in Balasbas, Manito, Albay.

The study showed that the use of Carbonized Rice Hull-based actinomycete inoculants with synthetic fertilizers can increase the production of Blonde red rice in the said municipality.

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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