CitRIS: Securing the future of Philippine citrus genetic resources

In a bid to supplement efforts in conserving genetic resources of citrus in the country, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) funded a project that aims to develop an online database system for descriptive information on all citrus collections of the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU).

Developed by the Philippine Citrus Resources Development Center (PCRDC) of NVSU, the system is called “Citrus Genetic Resources Information System” or CitRIS.

 

CitRIS is an online database system with a window-based platform where data entry on descriptions of citrus species and varieties is done.

The web-based platform, which can be accessed at http://citrusproject.nvsu.edu.ph, houses downloadable information on citrus that are readily available for online users.

CitRIS currently holds data for PCRDC’s 76 accessions of 16 citrus species from seven provinces of the Philippines.

The information system has been developed as part of the PCRDC project on citrus genetic resources conservation. The effort to conserve citrus germplasm is a prelude to finding varieties that are adapted to specific environments and developing new varieties to provide farmers with more viable options for production and market.

PCRDC now keeps a collection of over 1,300 mother trees in its screenhouse. The project will continue to establish a core collection from all regions where citrus germplasm can be located.

The ongoing development of the online resource system seeks to include e-publications and journals on citrus, which can be shared online to the general public. PCRDC has written two technology guides labeled as “KATAS ng CITRUS” Series. The first one focuses on the application of Best Orchard Practices for enhancing mandarin productivity, while the second publication is for calamansi orchard establishment and management.

PCRDC staff received training on the use of standard descriptors for citrus as well as protocols for collection from the Institute of Crop Science (ICrops) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).