Did you know that platnts can “sense” seasonal changes in terms of day length? Yes, plants have chemicals that allow them to do this. This characteristic of plants is called photoperiodisn.
Photoperiodism is one area where Dr. Jose R. Velasco, a Filipino plant physiologist, focused on during the World War II. He conducted research on the photoperiodism of the rice plant. He found out that the Elon-elon variety of rice flowered during short days when there was less than 12 hours of light.
Dr. Velasco is also known for this research on cadang-cadang, a coconnut disease that plagued the crops of small coconut farmets throught the country. He found out that the disease was caused by an element in the soil that was toxic to the coconut plant.
Dr. Velasco was honored as a National Scientitst in 1998. Other awards he received include the Guggenheim Foundation fellowships (1963), UP Alumni Association Dingstinguised Alumnus award (1971), Planters Production Achievement award for crop science teaching (1974), and PCCP Distinguised award on pest management (1974).
He grad uated with a degree in Agriculture in 1940 from the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture, which is now UP Los Banos. He was a professor at UP for the duration of World War II. After the war, he studied at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States where he obtained his doctoral degree in 1949. Then, he returned to the Philippines to teach at UP and share his knowledge with his fellow Filipinos.
► Jose R. Velasco. http://www.famousfilipino.com/agriculturist/jose-r.velasco.html
► Jose R. Velasco. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_R._Velasco
► Velascom Jose R. http://www.nast.dost.gov.ph/pro_velasco.htm