Research Breakthrough: CvSU develops growth chamber for mass production of coffee and makapuno seedlings

A group of researchers from the Cavite State University (CvSU) has developed and patented the Cellula TM Growth Chamber, a Programmable Logic Controller (PCL)-based high capacity tissue/embryo growth chamber.

The device is specifically developed by the CvSU National Coffee Research, Development and Extension Center (CvSU-NCRDEC) for mass production of tissue-cultured coffee and embryo-cultured makapuno seedlings. It was registered at the IPOPhil as Cellula TM (Figure 1).

Figure No. 1 CvSU-NCRDEC’s newly developed and patented Cellula ™.

The group was headed by NCRDEC Director Engr. Gerry M. Castillo together with researchers Engr. Al Eugene L. Torres, Engr. Ric Karl T. Flores, Antonette Jean L. Magcamit, and John Mark H. Rogador Significant features of the Cellula TM include: high capacity device; monitors and regulates temperature, humidity, and photoperiod; portable device; fabrication materials are locally-available; and cost-efficient as well as cost-effective equipment.

The research results on the performance test showed that the locally fabricated Cellula TM Growth Chamber (Figure 2) exhibits the highest germination efficiency (GE) and lowest percentage of contamination (PC) of 92.50% and 7.50%, respectively.

Figure No. 2 The Cellula TM Growth Chamber.

The experiment revealed that the commercially available Biobase Growth Chamber (Figure 3) registers GE of 91.0% and CP of 9.0%; and the conventional Growth Room (Figure 4) with has GE of 90.67% and CP of 9.33%.

Figure No. 3  The Commercial Biobase Growth Chamber.

Figure No. 4: The conventional Growth Room.

The results imply that the locally fabricated Cellula TM Growth Chamber is comparable to the commercially available imported Biobase Growth Chamber and much better compared with the Conventional Growth Room in terms of germination efficiency and percentage of contamination of plantlets.

Research funding for the project was provided by the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DoST-PCIEERD) which provided an initial research budget of PhP1,581,208; and the DoST

Regional Office IV-A (DoST-CALABARZON) with a total budget of PhP888,890.

Collaborating agency for the research project was the Fine Mechanics Trading and Engineering Services. The company was licensed to commercialize the developed and patented Cellula TM. The total cost of fabricating the equipment is PhP275,000.00.

Profitability analysis of the Cellula TM revealed that from the annual expenses and gross benefits of the equipment, the computed net benefit was PhP74,112.12. It yielded a payback period of four years and showed a break-even point of producing 4,554 plantlets per year.

According to NCRDEC Director Engr. Gerry M. Castillo, “The introduction of the Cellula TM Growth Chamber––a localized plant tissue culture growth enhancement technology in the tissue culture laboratories offers comparable technical performance at a much cheaper purchase price than of the commercially-available ones.”

“Considering the number of tissue culture laboratories in the country, the production of locally-developed equipment like the Cellula TM will have good market potential,” adds Castillo.”

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