Two students of the Master of Science in Microbiology programs of the Graduate School brought home awards from the 11th DOST ASTHDRP Graduate Scholars Conference held from September 26-27, 2023 at the Philippine International Convention Center. The 2023 edition of the conference bore a theme calling for a “Resilient, Unified, and Sustainable Philippines.”
Prince Nur-Hakeem N. Buisan won first place for his poster entitled “Core vs. Edge Differentiation of Myxomycetes Community Assemblages in a Secondary Growth Experimental Forest in Southern Mindanao, Philippines.” This study is under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Nikki Heherson A. Dagamac, Dr. rer. nat. Buisan’s paper attempted to contribute to the otherwise limited literature on the “understanding of the dynamic influences of such factors on microorganisms” and “variations in forest disturbance gradients.” The moist chamber technique was used in the study site, Cotabato province.
Meanwhile, Ervinna M. Cruz won second place for the poster entitled: “Growth-Promoting and Protective Potential of Fungal Root Endophytes Associated with a Pioneer Grass in a Lahar-Affected Area,” which was supervised by Prof. Thomas Edison E. dela Cruz, Dr. rer. nat., FPAM. The study proved the ability of the “isolated fungal endophytes to protect the plant host against pathogens.” The fungal endophytes were sourced from the roots of Saccharum spontaneum L., a pioneering grass species in a lahar-strewn environment.