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Biotech innovations and products headlined during DOST-PCAARRD webinar

Biotech innovations and products headlined during DOST-PCAARRD webinar

In celebration of the 18th National Biotechnology Week (NBW), the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) headlined its latest breakthrough biotech innovations and products.

This year, the Council showcased Nutrio® Biofertilizer for sugarcane, African Swine Fever (ASFv) virus Nanogold Biosensor Test Kit, and Protein Hydrolysates from Marine Fisheries Species to highlight their contribution to the significant challenges of the agricultural and aquatic sectors and their practical application potential as avenues of business opportunities in the country.

Three technical experts in the technologies mentioned were invited to discuss the products produced from DOST-PCAARRD-supported and funded biotechnology-related research initiatives.

Dr. Virginia M. Padilla, a retired researcher and lead technology developer at the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and currently the Proprietress of the Fullmight Agricultural Corporation, described how the product Nutrio® responds to the current problems of the sugarcane industry – high cost of inorganic fertilizer and low productivity.

She noted during the open forum that although Nutrio® was originally designed for sugarcane, farmers’ testimonials suggest that it can also work well for high-value crops like chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), rice, as well as ornamental plants like ‘sampaguita’ (Jasminum sambac). Currently, Fullmight is working on expanding its label for other crops.

On the other hand, Dr. Clarissa Yvonne J. Domingo, a Professor at the College of Veterinary Science and Medicine of the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) and Founder and Director of the BLITZKRIEG Animal Disease Diagnostic Center, took on the virtual stage to share their innovation for the livestock industry. She explained about the ASF virus Nanogold Biosensor Test Kit, a cost-effective and viable tool for early and rapid detection of the ASF virus that is plaguing the country.

Dr. Jose P. Peralta presented last with the topic on the utilization of marine fisheries species in producing protein hydrolysates. He is now a private consultant specializing in postharvest fisheries and marine bioactive compounds following his retirement from the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV).

According to Dr. Peralta, the food products developed by their project contain bioactive compounds that enhance body regulatory functions, beneficial to people with weakened immune systems. The protein breakdown derived from marine fisheries species also has the potential for preventing viral infection.

The S&T Agri-Aqua Biotech Applications webinar is conducted annually as part of the NBW celebration. It serves as an avenue for the Council to disseminate and promote the potential contribution and benefits of biotechnology to the agriculture, aquatic and natural resources (AANR) sector, community, and economy.

Streamed via DOST-PCAARRD Facebook and YouTube, the webinar reached more than a hundred students, farmers, and researchers across the country.

NBW is held in observance of Presidential Proclamation No. 1414, s. 2007. For its 18th year, the lead agency, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with various government agencies including DOST, organized the week-long celebration that centers on the theme “Responding to the Challenges: Business Opportunities in Biotechnology.” (Rosemarie A. De Castro, Edmerson Z. Calungsod, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services)