- Zero Tillage Benefits in Abaca Establishment
This research which was was started in December 2010 seeks to determine the benefits of adopting the zero tillage in abaca farming in terms of fiber yield and income to farmers.
- Potential Use of Bio-Organic Fertilizer in the Development of Resistance Against Mosaic, Bunchy-Top and Bract Mosaic
The study aims is to validate the use of bio-organic fertilizer and soil conditioner in the development of resistance in abaca against virus diseases. The specific objectives are: 1) To determine the effect of bio-fertilizer and soil conditioner on the survival of tissue-cultured abaca; 2) To evaluate the growth and performance of tissue-cultured abaca applied with bio-organic fertilizer and soil conditioner; and 3) To screen for disease resistance tissue-cultured abaca plants grown and treated with bio-organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. The study started in December 2010.
- Development of Resistance Against Abaca Bunchy-top, Mosaic and Bract Mosaic Using Chemotherapy and Thermotherapy
The project has a general objective of developing abaca varieties that are resistant to ABTV, AbaMV, ABrMV through chemotherapy and thermotherapy techniques. This study was started in December 2010.
High recovery of AbBrMV-free abaca cultures was noted in 15mg/l Ribavirin treated cultures. Successful recovery of BrMV-free abaca cultures was obtained from 3 to 7 days exposure to heat treatment. Plantlets are now hardened in the greenhouse. The hardened plantlets were further mass produced in vitro for further evaluation of resistance.
- Collection, Evaluation and Characterization of Abaca Varieties, Hybrids and Cultivars in the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and Southern Mindanao
This continuing genebank activity seeks to 1) survey and collect different abaca varieties including its wild relatives 2) conduct morphological characterization of different abaca varieties; 3) characterize fiber of different abaca varieties; and, 4) evaluate agronomic characters and yield parameters of different abaca varieties.
Sorsogon Fiber Seedbank
A total of 104 abaca cultivars are being maintained at the Sorsogon Fiber Seedbank in Casiguran, Sorsogon. Characterization of selected cultivars in terms of plant maturity, stooling capacity, fiber yield, per cent recovery and tensile strength was done. Notably, Musa tex 51 matures in 18 months after planting, produces 14 suckers, has a fiber recovery of 2.30% using a zero-serration stripping knife and yields 2,084 kg fiber hectare per harvest. Moreover, its fiber has a medium tensile strength ( 51.03 kg-f/g.m.).
Eastern Visayas Fiber Regional Experiment Station and Seedbank
There are 35 abaca varieties being maintained in the collection at the Eastern Visayas Fiber Regional Experiment Station and Seedbank (EVRFESS).
Manambulan Fiber Research and Seed Station
Manambulan, Tugbok District, Davao City
Fifty-two (52) abaca varieties are being maintained in the genebank; of which, nine ((9) are hybrids and 43 are promising varieties. Characterization and evaluation of thirteen (13) abaca varieties is on-going.
- Utilization of Biological Control Agents in the Control of Vectors of Abaca Viruses
The study aims to: 1) determine the predator capacity of earwig against the virus vectors (aphids); 2) develop a rearing technique for mass production of earwigs; and, 3) study the biology and life cycle of the Earwig.
Observation on the biology of the abaca earwig reared in the laboratory revealed the following: Female earwigs lay 15-60 eggs per mass which are oval, slimy and creamy white in color; Incubation period prior to hatching takes 8-10 days; The different nymphal instars vary only in size but not in their appearance; The presence of paired forceps at the end of the abdomen indicates adulthood in earwigs.
The abaca earwigs were successfully reproduced in the protected screenhouse. The eggs were found near the base of the abaca plant, usually attached t0 the fresh leafsheath that is covered by dried leafsheath.
The functional response of earwigs against the banana aphids shows an increasing trend with time and density. The consumption of earwig rises rapidly with increasing density of and exposure to the aphids. Both the 3rd and 4th nymphal instars earwigs consumed as much as 82 aphids during the 48 hours feeding time which was more than the adults preyed on which reached to 74 aphids only.
- Recovery of Virus Free-Abaca Plantlet (cv. Abuab) from Abaca Bract Mosaic (AbBrMV) Infected Cultures by Combined Heat and Ribavirin Treatment
Significant survival of 100, 96.42 and 88.0% was exhibited by the tissue cultured plantlets (var. Abuab) treated with 15, 10 and 20 mg/l of Rivabirin, respectively.
Result also shows that successful recovery of AbBrMV-free abaca cultures was obtained from 3 to 7 days exposure to heat treatment. Partial elimination of AbBrMV and AMV were noted from abaca cultures subjected to heat treatment from 3 to 7 days. Recovered AbBrMV-free abaca plantlets are being hardened in the sreenhouse and will be mass produced in vitro for further evaluation of resistance
- Optimization of Culture Condition for Regeneration System in Abaca
The study seeks to determine the effect of coconut water taken from mature green coconut in the in-vitro culture of abaca.
The first experiment was focused on the use of the coconut water which came from two sources: from tender coconut and green coconut. Results showed that media with coco water from tender coconut produced the best plants and lasted until 17 months after inoculation.
- Field Evaluation of Tissue Cultured Abaca Derived from Different Subcultures in Region V and Region VIII
The study has two parts: Part I is the production of rooted plantlets and acclimatization and Part 2 is the evaluation of tissue cultured abaca from different sub-culture planted in the field which
The micropropagation part is being done at the Albay Tissue Culture Laboratory in Legazpi City while the field evaluation, at the Sorsogon Fiber Seedbank (SFSB) in San Juan, Casiguran, Sorsogon.
Rooted plantlets of selected Bicol abaca varieties taken from 6th to 13th sub-cultures were produced and acclimatized at the Albay Tissue Culture Laboratory (ATCL). The varieties are Musa tex 51, Tinawagan Puti, Tinawagan Pula, Abuab and Sogmad.
Hardened plantlets (taken from 6th to 12th subcultures) of said varieties were planted at Sorsogon Fiber Seedbank for evaluation. Good agricultural practices were observed in the maintenance of the test plants.
Only 77 plant samples of different stages remain planted in the field; out of 118 which were originally planted. At present, new batches of cultures from the three varieties are being micro-propagated at Leyte Tissue Culture Laboratory in Abuyog, Leyte to produce the necessary plantlets to be planted on the relocation area.
- Efficient Nutrient Uptake in Abaca
The study seeks to verify the effect of inorganic fertilizer applied at varying depths on the growth and yield of abaca. The experiment is being conducted at the Bago Oshiro Fiber Research and Seed Station (BOFRSS,) Bago Oshiro, Tugbok District, Davao City.
Leaf tissue analysis conducted at post-fertilizer application in July 2011 showed that among the macronutrients (nitrogen, N; phosphorus, P; potassium, K), potassium appeared to be the highest in terms of nutrient uptake followed by nitrogen and phosphorus.
- Bioremediation and Nutrient Cycling on Abaca
The study seeks to determine the effects of hedgerow cropping and use of hedgecrops such as Indigofera anii, Flemingia macrophylla, Calliandra calothyrus, and Desmodium rensonii as mulching materials to the growth and development of abaca.
Based on two harvests undertaken in 2011, the results showed that abaca plants applied with indigofera produced as much number of suckers and harvestable stalks with those applied with inorganic fertilizers.
- Intercropping Abaca with Selected Fruit Trees
The growth performance of abaca when intercropped with durian, lanzones, rambutan and coconut is being evaluated. The experiment is being conducted in Bantayan, Zamboanga del Norte.
The experiment is laid out in RCB Design with three replications. A total of 1,062 hills abaca of Kutay-kutay variety were planted and 160 hills of selected fruit trees such as Durian, Lanzones, Rambutan and Coconut were planted as intercrops.
- Assessment of Drainage Requirement & Inundation Tolerance of Abaca
The purpose of the study is to determine the drainage requirement and the effect of inundation on the growth and yield of abaca.
Data gathering was done when the plants were six months old; i.e. in September 2011. The average height of abaca was 72.6 cm; base diameter was 67.4 mm; and the average number of suckers was 1.97.
- Design and Test of an Improved Piña Extraction Machine
The purpose of the study is to improve the piña extraction machine that could produce good quality fibers.
A prototype piña fiber extraction machine has been fabricated.
- Multi-Location Evaluation of Silkworm Strains
Four silkworm hybrids developed by UPLB and in collaboration with FIDA were tested under lowland (La Union) and highland conditions (Benguet). These silkworm hybrids were LBFD1, LBFD2, LBFD3 and LBFD4. The commercial hybrid distributed by DOST-CAR, SW4 was used as check strain.
Among the UPLB-FIDA strains, hybrid LBFD3 gave the highes cocoon yield per box both in the lowland (31.37 kg) and highland (33.56 kg) conditions. However, these yields were lower than the yield obtained from the commercial hybrid SW4 for both lowland (39.33 kg) and highland (41.75) condition.
Research and Development on Fiber Processing
- Bio-composite Boards from Abaca Fiber (Musa Textilis Nee) and Recycled Polypropylene
A study on the utilization of abaca (Musa textilis Nee) fiber wastes (Abaca Tow) as reinforcing material for recycled polypropylene-based composites was undertaken by FIDA and UPLB. Composite boards at varying abaca fiber sizes (10 mm, +40 mesh, -40 mesh), with and without coupling agent and different fiber loadings of 0%, 30%, 40%, 50% and 60% by weight were produced and evaluated for their physical and mechanical properties.
This study proved that abaca fiber wastes are good reinforcing materials for recycled polypropylene with optimized fiber loading and improved compatibility compared to the mechanical properties of the commercial fiber-cement Hardiflex boards with > 7.0 MPa flexural strength and better than the screw holding capacity of commercial plywood and narra wood with 72.35 N/mm and 147.12 N/mm, respectively.
- Saccharification of Abaca Extraction Wastes for Ethanol Production
This project aims to saccharify or obtain sugar yield from abaca fiber extraction and plantation wastes for ethanol production. The increasing production of abaca fiber because of the expansion of demand and uses provides substantial amount of stripping and plantation wastes that can easily be available for use as raw materials to produce ethanol as biofuel. Results of the study showed that fiber extraction wastes contain 74-83% holocellulose, 55-63% alphacellulose, and 17-20% hemicelluloses which are potential sources of sugars.
- Characterization of Libuton/Daratex fiber from Bansalan, Davao del Sur
The morphological, physical and chemical characteristics of Libuton or Daratex fiber were found to be completely different from the characteristics of the commercial variety of true abaca.
The results of the characterization analysis could serve as a technical reference for fiber technicians and inspectors in evaluating fibers from suppliers of Libuton/Daratex fibers.
- The effect of Low Temperature Plasma Treatment on the Dye Uptake and on the Physical and Chemical Properties of Abaca Fiber
This is a FIDA-funded study of Diane Jetajobe and Joeah Marie Gonzales of Bicol University undertaken as undergraduate thesis in collaboration with the Fiber Technology and Utilization Division. The result of the study showed that abaca fibers subjected to Oxygen and Hydrogen Plasma at varying currents and irradiation time using plasma-enhance chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) gave rise to improved properties of the fiber in terms of dye uptake, improved tensile strength and decreased moisture content
The results of the study could be useful to the fibercraft manufacturers in producing good quality dyed - fiber products.
- Research and Development on Fiber Production and Postharvest Technology
Commercial Fabrication of Fiber Extraction Machines/Devices
The developed technologies on fiber extraction machines and devices were transferred to private machine fabricators through accreditation. The objective of the accreditation of machine fabricators is to produce standard and uniform designs of fiber extraction machines in terms of proper specifications, materials used and FIDA markings on the fabricated machines indicating the patent numbers issued by the Intellectual Property Office, Bureau of Patent and date of its fabrication. In cases where major parts/assemblies or components are needed to be used in standardized forms such as the flywheel for the MSSM and standard serrated knives for the IHSD, foundry and machine shops were tapped and their workers were trained to develop the needed parts/assemblies. The contact details of the accredited fabricators are also provided to private sector and local government units interested in acquiring the FIDA-designed machines /parts in their areas of production.
Improvement of FIDA-designed Autofed Decorticating Machine (IADM)
FIDA has made major improvements on the autofed decorticating machine developed under the CFC-UNIDO Project in 2004. The improved machine is now lighter as a result of reduced dimension and has greater capacity to decorticate abaca and banana fibers.
The machine can produce 30-50 kg. of fibers per day which is higher compared to the output of the conventional decorticating machine of 18-25 kg. per day.
A single prime mover powers the decorticating machine as well as moves the machine from one location to another. The machine is still under laboratory testing.