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Crop Biotech Update

New Molecular Biology and Biotech Studies, Biotech Communication Efforts Shared in Symposium

August 26, 2011

Students, faculty, and alumni of the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MBB) Graduate Program of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), including university scientists, shared new studies in the field during the 6th UPLB MBB Symposium held last August 22, 2011. The researches conducted include the identification and characterization of the sequence flanking the antisense acs2 gene in Davao Solo papaya with delayed ripening trait by Ms. Gladys Ilagan, an MS Biochemistry student; analysis of expressed genes during early root development and bulking in sweet potato by Dr. Antonio Lalusin, Associate Professor at the Crop Science Cluster-Institute of Plant Breeding, UPLB; and the development and characterization of SSR markers for fingerprinting, hybridity testing and sex determination of delayed ripening papaya and its PRSV resistant hybrids by Ms. Kharen Cimagala, an MS MBB student.

Ms. Jenny Panopio of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture – Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC) talked about biotech communication efforts in the country and urged the MBB students and faculty to engage in biotech communication activities and highlighted that science should not be limited to the laboratories; that it should be communicated and shared, especially if the technology would benefit people. Dr. Evelyn Mae Mendoza, a research professor at UPLB Institute of Plant Breeding and academician from the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), shared that NAST and other government agencies are involved in and support public biotech communication activities. In 2006, Dr. Mendoza published a book for young students titled "Understanding Biotechnology". The book aims to help the students better learn and appreciate biotech principles and applications.

The symposium was organized by the UPLB MBB Graduate Program and supported by SEARCA BIC; NAST; Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines; the Genetics and Molecular Biology Division of the Institute of Biological Science, College of Arts and Sciences, UPLB; the Biochemistry Laboratory of the Institute of Plant Breeding, Crop Science Cluster of the College of Agriculture, UPLB; and Medical Test Systems, Inc.

For more information about the symposium, visit http://www.bic.searca.org or e-mail bic@agri.searca.org.