Bunchy top is one of the most serious virus problems in abaca

Bunchy top is one of the most serious virus problems in abaca. It has existed for so many years, and still causing havoc in large abaca production areas in the country particularly in the Visayas. Through the concerted effort of a plant breeder and a plant pathologist at the Institute of Plant Breeding, Crop Science Cluster, UPLB, College , Laguna, abaca hybrids were developed which possess resistance to bunchy top and having equally good fiber yield and quality.

With these hybrids, Phase I of the project entitled “Rehabilitation of Abaca Plantation Through Adoption of High Yielding and Virus Resistant Abaca Hybrids” was funded by DOST-PCAARRD from 2012-2015 . In this project, multiplication of abaca hybrids through tissue culture was done in major state universities, namely, UPLB, Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry, Visayas State University, Caraga State University, University of Southern Mindanao, University of Southeastern Philippines, Western Mindanao State University. Aside from the production of tissue cultured plantlets, multi-location trial of these hybrids are being conducted in these universities, with the addition of Catanduanes State University. A Phase II of the project, funded by DOST-PCAARRD will be implemented to include Local governments units in ten selected provinces, and PhilFIDA. Dr. Antonio G. Lalusin has developed these hybrids and leads these projects, with Dr. Teodora O. Dizon, as one of the project staff.