PMBPVL logo The Plant Molecular Biology and Plant Virology Laboratory (PMBPVL) was established in 2004 as a research and training facility. The PMBPVL has provided research training to undergraduate students, MS students, and post-graduate research fellows.

Research in PMBPVL is focused on viral diversity, plant pathology and plant–virus interactions. The laboratory aims to characterize these viruses and to utilize them in biotechnology applications. In addition, research also includes diversity and epidemiology of viruses as well as plant resistance to selected viral diseases. Majority of the work is being conducted on viruses infecting abaca, a Philippine indigenous plant valued for its fiber. The laboratory has also done work on mushroom viruses as well as viruses belonging to viral families Potyviridae and Nanoviridae that infect economically important plants.


 Current projects include isolation and molecular characterization of nanoviruses and potyviruses.  Assembly and annotation of abaca genome and transcriptome, as well as characterization of genes associated with fiber quality, disease resistance and various abiotic responses in abaca are also on-going.  Past projects include characterization of abaca bunchy top virus (ABTV), development of viral gene constructs, biolistic transformation of selected abaca cultivars, functional analysis of the ABTV Rep protein and molecular characterization of viruses associated with cultivated mushrooms.  Abaca projects are conducted in collaboration with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA).

Vermando M. Aquino, PhD
Research Publications

Recent Publications

LC Galvez, CFC Barbosa, RBL Koh, VM Aquino (2020). Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays for the detection of abaca bunchy top virus and banana bunchy top virus in abaca. Crop Protection, 131.

RBL Koh, FADLC Zaulda, CFC Barbosa, VM Aquino, LC Galvez (2020). Immunodiagnosis of bunchy top viruses in abaca with polyclonal antibodies against their recombinant coat proteins, Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection

LC Galvez, RBL Koh, CFC Barbosa, VM Aquino (2020). Multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for simultaneous detection of banana bract mosaic virus (BBrMV) and sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) in abaca, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology,

CFC Barbosa, RBL Koh, VM Aquino, LC Galvez (2020). Diagnosis of multicomponent Babuviruses infecting abaca by simultaneous amplification of their genome segments.  Philippine Journal of Science. 149 (2) 373-382.

RBL Koh, CFC Barbosa, VM Aquino, LC Galvez (2020). Rapid, simple detection of banana bract mosaic virus in abaca using a one-step reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay. J Gen Plant Pathol


L-R: Mr. Richard Encarnacion, Ms. Rhosenar Bhea Koh, Ms. Jasca Gayle G. Española, Dr. Vermando Aquino
PMBPVL Researchers