Biotechnology for Natural Products Program (BNPP)

The BNPP focuses on harnessing bio-active secondary metabolites (natural products) from microorganisms and indigenous plants as effective reduced-risk crop protection technologies and therapeutic agents. The program primarily utilizes top-down approach which includes diverse sampling, culture condition screening and comparative metabolomic profiling. To further strengthen the capability of BNPP, modern bottom-up approach to natural products discovery is being developed such as the use of computational tools and molecular genetics-assisted native and heterologous host expression. The program utilizes enabling modern technologies such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, whole genome sequencing, molecular cloning, bioinformatics, heterologous expression and tissue culture for discovery and development of formulated natural products-based insecticides, fungicides and therapeutic agents from available bioresources.

Conducts research on Actinobacteria isolated from mangrove areas and other rare environments around the Philippines. The laboratory focuses on studying the antimicrobial properties of these Actinobacteria against medically important pathogens and biocontrol potentials against economically important plant pathogens. It also developed ACTICon™, a new biocontrol agent against the deadly Fusarium wilt of Cavendish banana.
Aims to develop into a modern facility that is capable of generating crop protection technologies with reduced risk to non-target organisms but with wider spectral activity and more effective control potential to target insect pests. The laboratory focuses its research on developing microencapsulated natural products-based insecticides from local microbial strains.
Focuses on the development of novel plant tissue culture technologies for rapid mass propagation and production of useful plant-based products with desired compounds that are mostly secondary metabolites and not normally required by plants for growth and development but are of great utility to man. Examples are pharmaceuticals, flavors, fragrances, colors, and agrichemicals. One of the laboratory’s products in the pipeline is WiltCure, a new biofungicide derived from the co-culture of a callus and a microbe and can be used for the control of Fusarium wilt in solanaceous crops such as tomato and chili pepper. For the mass propagation of valuable plant species, the laboratory conducts tissue culture of economically-important plants like coconut, banana, ginger and orchids. Developed in the laboratory is the protocol for the rapid mass propagation of Moringa oleifera and Aloe barbadensis.
A BIOTECH Special Laboratory that focuses on the application of computational methods on microbial genome data mining. Its function is to analyze the genome or genetic blueprint of bacteria to discover important genes and pathways for the synthesis of natural products, plant-microbe interactions, virulence effectors, plant growth promotion and determine phylogenetic relationships. The information derived from genome mining is a powerful tool in searching for novel genes that are involved in processes that are important in agriculture, health, food and industry. The laboratory plans to introduce modern bioinformatics techniques to enhance BIOTECH’s strength in microbial biotechnology.



Edwin P. Alcantara, PhD
Scientist II
Eufrocinio C. Marfori, PhD
Scientist I
Irene A. Papa, MSc
University Researcher III
Alyssa M. De Castro, MSc
University Research Associate II
John Edward I. Zapater, MSc
University Research Associate II
Bernadette T. Rapiz
University Research Associate I


Sarah Jane S. Baterina
Laboratory Technician III
Guian Paolo S. Crisostomo
Laboratory Technician II
Atanacio C. Manzo
Laboratory Aide II
Ma. Elyn Magpantay
Administrative Aide III