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Nuclear research improves plant stocks

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 02:01 AM    Views : 1362by:Manila Standard Today

Improved varieties of plants can be a boon to the horticulture business particularly garden operators and landscapers.

For Ernesto Buenaventura, a hobbyist, new planting materials will allow him to venture beyond the confines of his container garden at his new location in Cainta, Rizal.

Entrepreneurs stand to benefit from the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and its techniques for making available stocks suited to market demand, according to Fernando Aurigue, science research specialist of the agency under the Department of Science and Technology.

"Mutation breeding is a non-conventional method of plant breeding to improve crops by using mutational agents (mutagens)," he said. "Radiation can induce hereditary changes in the parent crop from which mutants with desirable attributes will be selected and will be developed as new varieties."

In Pasig City, Buenaventura raised plants in drums at the apartment's open-air garage with seeds from Harbest.

"I use compost from discards in preparing food," he said, pointing to a young mulberry tree, soursop and eggplant in a pot while tending to his home-processed coconut virgin oil.

Aurigue said mutant varieties of ornamental plants are meant to provide new products for growers to propagate and introduce to the market.

"Small and medium scale plant nursery owners may consider producing and marketing them for added income and employment," he said.

Aurigue said the institute has developed new varieties out of Murraya ‘Ibarra Santos' (kamuning), Dracaena ‘Marea' (Corn plant), "Itchy Red" Ti plant–or Cordyline ‘Medina', named after Gen. Florencio Medina Sr., first head of Philippine Atomic Energy Commission–have been approved by the National Seed Industry Council and the Department of Agriculture and are now being commercialized.

The 40th Atomic Energy Week will feature applications in food and agriculture, health and medicine, industry and environment on Dec. 10 to 14.

Dr. Alumanda dela Rosa, DOST-PNRI, said the theme "Nuclear Science, Technology and Innovation: Engine for Growth and Development" will be highlighted in exhibits, technical sessions and guided tours at the Institute in Diliman, Quezon City, along with a national quiz contest for high school students to be held at the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center at Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

Source: http://manilastandardtoday.com/2012/12/05/nuclear-research-improves-plant-stocks/

S & T Trivia

" Milagros A. Ramos invented the submerged method of cultivating edible mushroom mycelium (the vegetative stage of mushrooms) in liquid medium in 1963. Her concept departed from the traditional bed-culture method. "

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