Bulacan garden plant industry gets boost from 1st tissue culture lab

Bulacan's garden tissue culture laboratory
iLab perspective. Photo from Ellen Torres Santiago.

Bulacan’s thriving garden plant industry in the town of Guiguinto is getting a big boost as the first tissue culture laboratory for ornamental plants will soon rise in Barangay Sta. Cruz.

The first Innovative Tissue Culture Laboratory (iLAB) for Sustainable Propagation of Various Ornamental Plants is a project of the Department of Science and Technology in partnership with the local government unit of Guiguinto, Bulacan, National Water Resources Board, and the Ateneo de Manila University.

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The iLab project will establish a tissue culture laboratory that will provide the following services:

  • Quick generation of identical mature offspring of one plant with desirable traits, which is applicable for commercial large-scale production of plants;
  • Production of multiple plants in the absence of seeds or pollinators to produce seeds;
  • Production of plants from seeds or stems that may otherwise have low chances of growing;
  • Production of novel hybrids and genetically-modified plants with improved agronomic traits; and
  • Production of plants with greatly reduced chances of transmitting disease, pests, and pathogens.

iLab is expected to help enhance the plant and garden businesses in the area and in the whole country through increased production, expansion, the introduction of new product lines and propagation of high value, rare and hard to come-by plants that can help develop new markets and growth. It can further give the province the recognition and prominence for its innovative efforts in the ornamental plant industry in the country.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the first commercial plant tissue culture laboratory in the province was held in December 2019 attended by DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, together with DOST-3 (Central Luzon) Regional Director Julius Caesar V. Sicat, Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando, and Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz.

Secretary Dela Peña said, “This new technology and through this Innovative Tissue Culture Laboratory that is going to be put up in this town, will create more opportunities in global trading that will give benefits to growers, farmers and garden and ornamental plant owners.”

The science and agency chief explained that through tissue culture technology, they would be able to produce and propagate a whole lot of new plants from just a single plant using its vegetative parts (like the stem tip, axillary bud tip, root tip and other plant parts).

“In tissue culture, the number of planting roots is more. This tissue culture will benefit not only those garden owners but also students here in the province of Bulacan,” Sec. Dela Peña added.

The innovative tissue culture laboratory for ornamental plants is set to rise at the Garden City Multi-Purpose Cooperative display area at the North Luzon Expressway Cloverleaf.

The DOST regional office donated PHP2,790,823 as an aid for the construction of the tissue culture laboratory.

The LGU will shoulder construction of the building while the laboratory equipment, supplies and personnel will be provided by DOST through its Grants-In-Aid program which was approved last September 13.

The Tissue Culture Lab project is one of the DOST Big 20 for 2020 high impact programs expected to open this year along with biomedical devices and nanosatellites.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the people of Bulacan for their first tissue culture lab that would help the garden and ornamental plants industry!

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Eldan is an experienced online content writer who finds fulfillment in sharing the good side of the news to Filipinos.