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DOST-PCAARRD monitors project on harmful Kareniacean Dinoflagellates

Jepthe Eryl S. Lapitan, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services

A project on harmful Kareniacean Dinoflagellates was recently monitored and evaluated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resource Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

The project, “Distribution and Diversity of Harmful Kareniacean Dinoflagellates in Philippine Coastal Waters,” investigates the diversity, taxonomy, and distribution of Kareniacean dinoflagellates. It hopes to provide accurate species identification with reliable morphology and phylogeny that will determine their occurrence and distribution in the Philippine coastal waters.

Dr. Benico showing the yellowish-green Kareniaceae culture. (Image credit: MRRD, DOST-PCAARRD)

Kareniacean dinoflagellates are monophyletic group of marine unarmored dinoflagellate species that are harmful and responsible for economic damage to coastal fisheries worldwide. This group of dinoflagellates are often overlooked and misidentified. It was only given full attention when their blooms had already caused a commonly known “red tide” that coincides with devastating fish kill. The occurrence of these microalgal organisms is still unknown in the other parts of the Philippine Coastal Waters despite their potential threat of another massive fish kill aligned to the reports that occurred in Obando, Bulacan. Moreover, determination of its prior occurrence in coastal waters is critical to make a proactive management approach of their harmful algal blooms to effectively manage and mitigate any fisheries damages.

Courtesy call with Dr. Evaristo A. Abella, VP for Administration. (Image credit: MRRD, DOST-PCAARRD)

Funded by DOST-GIA under the DOST-JSPS Joint Scientific Research Program, the project is being implemented by the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) under the leadership of Dr. Garry A. Benico of the Department of Biological Sciences.

The project led to the establishment of the Algal Diversity and Bioresources Laboratory of CLSU that serves as the first marine and freshwater microalgal facility in CLSU. It can store different microalgal cultures and has the capacity to conduct morphological and molecular analyses of cultures.

Dr. Acedera gives a message on behalf of the PCAARRD and a briefing of the M&E Activity. (Image credit: MRRD, DOST-PCAARRD)

Held on November 14-15, 2023, at CLSU, the monitoring activity was conducted by the Marine Resources Research Division (MRRD) of DOST-PCAARRD led by its Director Dr. Mari-Ann M. Acedera.

A warm welcome was given to the team by the OIC Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr. Mary Jhane G. Valentino. It gracefully ended with a courtesy call with Dr. Evaristo A. Abella, Vice President for Administration.#

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