Potential lines of disease-resistant tomato and pepper identified through cooperation program

Potential lines for breeding resistant varieties of tomato and pepper against bacterial wilt and anthracnose were recently identified through an ongoing joint project under the Manila Economic and Cultural Office – Taipei Economic Cultural Office (MECO-TECO) S&T Cooperation Program.

Implemented by the Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture and Food Science, University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-CAFS, UPLB), the project, “Disease Resistant Tomato and Pepper for Chinese Taipei and the Philippines” is funded by the Department of Science and Technology, and monitored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the DOST (DOST-PCAARRD).

In a virtual meeting, Project Leader Dr. Mark Angelo O. Balendres of IPB-CAFS, UPLB reported that the project has completed its screening activities to evaluate the resistance of tomato and pepper lines from the World Vegetable Center.

Overall, the project has identified 21 tomato and 51 pepper lines with bacterial wilt resistance; and 11 pepper lines with anthracnose resistance. These identified lines will be registered to the Germplasm and Technology Registration Release Office (GTRRO) of IPB-CAFS, UPLB.

The project also validated 15 molecular markers significantly associated with resistance to bacterial wilt in tomato; and 7 molecular markers associated with resistance to anthracnose in pepper which that be used in the development of disease-resistant varieties of tomato and pepper.

Dr. Balendres also said that his team will select the top 10 lines of tomato and pepper with bacterial wilt and anthracnose resistance, which will be showcased in two glasshouse setups. The glasshouses will serve as a venue for the participatory breeding activity of the project in its terminal year of implementation.

Dr. Tonette P. Laude of the Institute of Crop Science, CAFS, UPLB led the Technical Review and Evaluation Panel (TREP) during the meeting. She suggested conducting field trials using the screened lines in major tomato and pepper growing areas in the country with high disease incidences. This will determine the level of disease resistance of the identified lines.

The project review was attended by the UPLB project team, and the Crops Research Division (CRD) of DOST-PCAARRD led by CRD Officer-in-Charge, Dr. Allan B. Siano, with ISP Manager for Vegetables, Mr. Joel Norman R. Panganiban, and other key staff from CRD. (Danica Louise C. Sembrano, DOST PCAARRD S&T Media Services)