PCC scientific paper wins second AFMA Best R&D Paper

A PCC research study titled “Cryopreservation of Oocytes by Minimum Volume Vitrification Methods for In-vitro Embryo Production in Water Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) won the silver award for AFMA Best R&D Paper in this year’s 23rd National Research Symposium held at the Bureau of Agricultural Research, Quezon City.

The winning paper was authored by a team of PCC scientists led by Dr. Eufrocina Atabay of the PCC Reproductive Biotechnology Laboratory. Co-authors were Dr. Edwin Atabay, Flocerfida Aquino, and Rodante de Vera.

“If perfected, the cryopreservation of oocytes offers huge prospects in animal production as vitrified oocytes serve as valuable germplasms for in-vitro embryo production and other assisted reproductive technologies,” Dr. Eufrocina Atabay said.

Researches such as this, she further said, are PCC’s significant strides toward attaining its mission as the national lead agency for livestock biotechnology research and development (R&D).

Dr. Atabay received the plaque and cash prize in behalf of the research team during the awarding ceremonies held at the Manila Hotel last October 11.

Other than the recognition and cash prize, Dr. Atabay’s team is set to benefit from a Php1 million-worth of research grant from the DA-BAR.

Among the other finalists under the Basic Research Category were entries from PhilRice, Visayas State University and another paper from PCC authored by Dr. Danilda Duran, also a scientist at the Reproductive Biotechnology Laboratory.

PhilRice biotech scientists lead by Dr. Antonio Alfonso won the first prize for their paper “Marker-Aided Transfer of Beta-Carotene Biosynthetic Genes (Golden Rice 1) into Two Philippine Rice Varieties” while VSU’s research paper entry authored by Villaluz Acedo et al “Development of Novel Tissue Culture-based Seed System for Year-round Production of Purple Yam (Dioscorea alata L.)” placed third.

Authors of the top papers in each of the main categories, seven categories in all, made oral presentations in the symposium conducted at the DA-BAR on October 10.

The AFMA Best R&D Paper gold awardee received Php100,000 while the silver and bronze awardees received Php75,000 and Php50,000, respectively. Papers that garnered a score of 80 percent and above were given a cash prize of Php10,000 each.

On the other hand, cash prizes of Php50,000 for the first, Php35,000 for the second, and Php25,000 for the third placers were given to AFMA Best R&D Poster awardees.

The 23rd NRS adopted the theme “Harnessing Research for Safe and Healthy Food and Agri-Fishery Products”. Organized by the DA-BAR, the said event aims to recognize the important role of researchers in improving and sustaining productivity in the agriculture and fishery R&D sector.

DA-BAR director Nicomedes Eleazar said in his message that in this year’s NRS, the bureau “highlighted its vision of providing a better life for Filipinos through improvements and interventions generated from R&D and to recognize the notable achievements of the outstanding researchers in the field of agriculture and fisheries.”