Ongoing project uses biotech to improve ‘Carabao’ mango variety

The improvement of the ‘Carabao’ mango variety continues through biotechnology under an ongoing project funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

Targeted to address the scab and stem-end rot (SER) diseases of mango, the project led by Dr. Edward A. Barlaan of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) strives to develop and identify molecular markers associated with scab and SER resistance in mango to improve the ‘Carabao’ mango.  

Scab and SER diseases are among the major problems of mango farmers causing high pre- and postharvest losses and low fruit quality.

In its second year of implementation, Dr. Barlaan reported that the project has geotagged and characterized 101 mango accessions in Guimaras, North Cotabato, and Davao City. They have identified two mango cultivars (i.e., ‘Huani’ and ‘Irwin’) and four other cultivars (i.e., ‘Katchamita’ or Indian mango, ‘Florida,’ ‘Nam Doc Mai,’ and ‘Kabayo’) resistant and moderately resistant to SER, respectively.

Meanwhile, 45 mango cultivars other than the ‘Carabao’ variety were found susceptible to scab disease in a mango seedling nursery evaluation at USM. A total of 18 isolates associated with scab disease were molecularly identified and currently undergoing pathogenicity test to confirm the said disease.

These findings will help develop SER-resistant mango varieties to help increase the production of quality mangoes that can compete in the export market.

The project team partnered with the Bureau of Plant Industry-Guimaras National Crop Research, Development, and Production Support Center (BPI-GNCRDPSC) in floral induction and mango fruit collection. 

They also forged partnerships with the Institute of Plant Breeding at the University of the Philippine Los Baños (IPB-UPLB) and the National Taiwan University (NTU) for SER and scab isolation, and bioinformatics, respectively. 

The ongoing project is a component of DOST-PCAARRD’s mango breeding program which aims to improve ‘Carabao’ mango using biotechnology tools.

These accomplishments were presented in an annual project review attended by the USM project team, S&T Consultant and UPLB Professor Emeritus Dr. Rita P. Laude, as well as the DOST-PCAARRD staff headed by Crops Research Division’s Officer in Charge Dr. Allan B. Siano, via videoconferencing.