THE Department of Science and Technology (DoST) said it launched a three-year project to find mango strains resistant to scab and stem-end rot diseases.

The DoST’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) announced a search for mango varieties and strains resistant to such diseases.

The project’s lead implementer will be the University of Southern Mindanao. It will also be in charge of the development of molecular markers and the creation of a sequence database that will contain the genotypes associated with resistance to stem-end rot and scab diseases.

According to PCAARRD, stem-end rot disease is caused by fungi such as Cytosphaera mangiferae, Dothiorella dominicana, Botryodiplodia theobromae and Lasiodiplodia theobromae. The fungi shorten the shelf life and storage of mangoes.

“Dark, circular lesions develop slowly from the stem end as fruit ripens after harvest,” PCAARRD said.

Meanwhile, mango-scab disease is caused by the fungal pathogen Elsinoë mangiferae. The disease begins as small gray or dark brown spots on the underside of the leaves or fruit, which eventually grow and darken over time.

“It affects young and mature fruits, twigs, leaves, and blossom spikes. Severely affected fruits fall off while new shoots may defoliate,” PCAARRD said.

“These issues prompted the project team to identify sources of resistance in mango germplasm that can be used in ‘Carabao’ mango improvement,” it added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave