The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) recently organized an inception meeting for the project titled, “Development of biofungicide for control of Alternaria solani and other fungal pathogens of tomato and eggplant.”
Fungal pathogens affect eggplant and tomato, especially during wet seasons. Infection of foliar diseases such as early blight (Alternaria solani), fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum), and leaf molds (Passalora fulva) could result in serious crop loss.
Led by Dr. Jessica F. Simbahan of the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), the two-year project will develop a biofungicide, which is a concoction of chitinase and other antifungal compounds that target Alternaria solani and other fungal pathogens of tomato and eggplant.
Dr. Jessica D. Rey, project staff and assistant professor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) stated that there have been manifestations of Alternaria solani as reported by private growers in some parts of Laguna and Quezon.
The team collaborates with Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) and Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in monitoring similar disease incidence within and around Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya.
Dr. Filomena C. Sta. Cruz, project leader of the DOST-PCAARRD funded program, “Development of Integrated Crop Management (ICM) for Increasing the Production of Fresh and Processing Tomato Products,” expressed her support by offering samples from their ongoing project.
UPD will collaborate with the National Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) in UPLB for the laboratory-scale analyses.
Organized by DOST-PCAARRD’s Crops Research Division (CRD) Monitoring and Evaluation Team for Vegetables, the meeting concluded with the signing and handing over of the notarized memorandum of agreement (MOA) as well as the initial release of project funds.