Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Coconut genomics-Assisted Molecular Breeding

The Coconut Genomics Program aims to improve coconut productivity through genomics-assisted marker selection for yield traits and molecular breeding of existing varieties. These include hybrid, on-farm selection, and economically beneficial cultivars. The program makes use of farmer’s field selections and selected coconut varieties, single-cross hybrids and advanced mapping populations of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

Genomic studies were conducted for genetic and varietal improvement of selected coconut varieties. Among the assembled genome and transcriptome sequences, two (2) varieties – Laguna Tall (LAGT) and Catigan Green Dwarf (CATD) are already deposited at the National Center for Biotechnology Center (NCBI). Several gene markers for high yield and quality copra-oil and by-products, and insect resistance were developed and are being optimized.  The team also developed a local coconut genome database pre-installed with breeding bioinformatics tools. Furthermore, 8,842 seed nuts were harvested and 3,586 seedlings from the outstanding coconut populations were distributed to coconut farmers in Region IV-A.