Agriculture - - Horticulture -

A FERN SPORE BANK was re­cently es­tab­lished through the joint col­lab­o­ra­tion of Cen­tral Min­danao Univer­sity (CMU) and the Nat­u­ral Sci­ence Re­search Cen­ter (NSRC), un­der the project, “Spore Bank Es­tab­lish­ment, Prop­a­ga­tion and Con­ser­va­tion of Se­lected Eco­nom­i­cally Im­por­tant Ferns.” The Philip­pine Coun­cil for Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment of the Depart­ment of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST-PCAARRD) funded the project.

The spore bank is lo­cated at the Spore and Tis­sue Cul­ture Lab­o­ra­tory of NSRC in CMU—the sole in­sti­tu­tion to of­fer spore bank in the coun­try. Its goal is to main­tain spore avail­abil­ity and vi­a­bil­ity all year round. CMU pro­fes­sor Dr. Vic­tor B. Amoroso and his team al­ready col­lected spores from 64 species of ferns and classified them into threat­ened (11 species), or­na­men­tal (60 species), medic­i­nal (60 species), and hand­i­craft ma­te­ri­als (2 species).

The es­tab­lish­ment of spore bank led to the de­vel­op­ment of two pro­to­cols in spore prop­a­ga­tion: pure ground clay pot (GCP) and mixed ground clay pot and ground ad­ven­ti­tious roots of tree fern (GART) as medium. These pro­to­cols can re­sult in a bet­ter ger­mi­na­tion of spores and mass prop­a­ga­tion of plantlets or sporo­phytes.

It was found out that the most ef­fec­tive cul­ture medium for spore ger­mi­na­tion is the GCP, while the most ef­fec­tive cul­ture me­dia for sporo­phyte for­ma­tion is a mix­ture of GCP with GART or soil.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Amoroso, the spore bank can save the threat­ened pop­u­la­tion and area of oc­cu­pancy of ferns since spores are not al­ways avail­able through­out the year to pro­duce wildlings or sporo­phytes. (MA. KRISTINA ABI­GAIL S. LAPITAN AND EIRENE GRACE C. ZARAGOZA, PCAARRD FARMNEWS)

Dr. Vic­tor B. Amoroso (left) and his team show­cas­ing their col­lected and cul­tured fern sam­ples used in the project.

Cul­tured fern sam­ples in the spore bank.

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