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The University of Southern Mindanao with Agriculture, Research and Development Center as the over- all coordinator conducted the first virtual In-house Review (IHR) on November 4-5, 2021 via Zoom. Ninety-three (93) locally and externally funded research and extension projects of the university were presented during the 41st IHR.

The activity had four categories: Basic Research in Natural Science, Engineering, and ICT (Category 1), Applied Research in Natural Science, Engineering, and ICT (Category 2), Extension and Development (Category 3), and Basic and Applied Research in Education and Social Science (Category 4). In each category, projects were evaluated and rated by three external evaluators from various institutions. The winners of the oral and poster presentations were announced during the closing ceremony.

There were four first place winners of the oral competition. In Category 1, the winning project was, “Pilot testing and validation of SSR marker kit for Philippine mango germplasm in commercial mango nurseries,” by Emma K. Sales, Marry Grace S. Balbuena, Jane R. Desamito, and Avigel I. Cabrillos. There is a large number of mango cultivars grown in the country, and in the absence of a certified test, mango cultivars may be incorrectly identified. This study identified the accuracy and efficiency of a selected SSR marker kit for Carabao and other mangoes. The SSR marker kit was shown to be able to discriminate mango strains and confirmed the existence of mislabeled varieties.

In Category 3, the winning entry was, “Molecular Detection and Identification of Microbial Pathogens of Banana,” by Edward A. Barlaan, Michael James L. Abrea, and Evelyn F. Alejandro. This study is the first in the world to report on the digital PCR detection of causal pathogens of major diseases in banana. Through molecular detection technology, this study has shown how causal pathogens in banana can be detected before disease expression and outbreak.

The first-place entry in Category 3 was, “Curriculum Development and Offering on Halal Science and Scholarship for SUC Faculty on Halal Science,” by Josephine R. Migalbin, Emma K. Sales, Francisco Gil N. Garcia, Jurhamid C. Imlan, Mark Al-jamie J. Muttulani, Sandra Joy P. Pahm, Monaira Sumael, Normina A. Sevilla, and Garry Kieth F. Escucha. The study performed focus group discussions and benchmarking activities to inform the development of a Halal science curriculum, which was approved by the Board of Regents. The certificate course was launched virtually and has been rolled out in three SUCs. In Category 4, the winning entry was, “Educational Innovations in Rural and Remote Communities: A Multi-Dimensional Approach,” by Leorence C. Tandog, Debbie Marie Verzosa, Bonifacio Solsoloy, Joy Gloria Sabutan, Astrobil Hyde Alcala, Shandra Gonsang, and Benedict Entera. This project initiated a multi-dimensional approach to address urgent educational adaptations driven by the pandemic. Through the use of technology and teaching innovations informed by the scholarly literature, materials in Mathematics, Filipino, and Physics were developed, deployed and were shown to improve understanding.