Ernelea P. Cao, Ph.D.

Professor 12 | UP Scientist I
Genetics Academic Group (GAG) Head
Ph.D. Biology, University of the Philippines Diliman, 1992
Research Lab: Plant Molecular Biology and Genetics Laboratory (formerly called the Plant Genetics and Cyanobacterial Biotechnology Laboratory)


BIO 1 (Contemporary Topics in Biology)
BIO 11 (Fundamentals of Biology 1)
BIO 140 (Fundamentals of Genetics)
BIO 141 (Fundamentals of Microbial Genetics)
BIO 150 (Fundamentals of Cell and Molecular Biology)
BIO 196 (Undergraduate Seminar)
BIO 240 (Advanced Genetics)
BIO 250 (Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology)
BIO 296 (Graduate Seminar)
BIO 299 (Research in Biology)
BIO 399 (Independent Doctoral Research in Biology)
MICROBIO 241 (Advanced Microbial Genetics)
MICROBIO 299 (Research in Microbiology)


Cyanobacterial and Microalgal Biotechnology
Plant Cell and Molecular Biology


Current Thesis Students
Nick Rainier S. Santos (Ph.D. Biology)
Elaine M. Romines (M.S. Microbiology)
Danica Pearl M. Untiveros (M.S. Microbiology)
Mariella Angela A. Chavez (B.S. Biology)

Recently Graduated Students
Daisy May C. Santos Ph.D. Biology (June 2019)
Nick Rainier S. Santos M.S. Biology (June 2019)
Libertine Rose S. Sanchez Ph.D. Biology (July 2019)
Alysa G. Estopace M.S. Microbiology (July 2019)
Teresita M. Batanes M.S. Biology (June 2018)
Angelo Joshua A. Victoris M.S. Biology (June 2018)
Philip Ariel P. Alfonso B.S. Biology (June 2019)
Ronica Nia P. Valdez B.S. Biology (June 2019)


(20) Sanchez LRS and Cao EP. 2019.Metagenomic analysis reveals the presence of heavy metal response genes from cyanobacteria thriving in Balatoc Mines, Benguet Province, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Science 148 (S1): 71-82. Special Issue on Genomics.

(19) Santos DMC, Victoria AJA, Besa CFF and Cao EP. 2019. Genome-wide profiling and characterization of terpene synthase-linked simple sequence repeats in Coffea canephora Pierre ex A. Froehner for identification of potential markers for aroma in Philippine-grown coffee varieties. Philippine Journal of Science 148 (S1): 267-273. Special Issue on Genomics.

(18) Aquino VM, Cao EP, Catap ES, Lecciones JA, Dela Calzada GJ and Santiago RJ. 2019. Biosafety Manual. Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

(17) Sanchez JCS, Quilang JP, Mojica RM and Cao EP. 2018. Interspecific and intraspecific variation in Coffea sp. using fruit metric and landmark-based geomorphometric analyses. Philippine Journal of Science 147 (4): 659-665.

(16) Victoria AJ, Cao EP, Salmaso N, Segata N and Donati C. 2018. Draft genome sequence of the cadmium-resistant strain JJU2, belonging to Family Hapalosiphonaceae of the cyanobacteria. Microbiology Resource Announcements 7:e00876-18.

(15) Vallejo B Jr, Conejar-Espedido J, Manubag L, Artiaga KCC, Damatac AM II, Imperial IVJ, Itong TAB, Fontanilla IKC, Cao EP. 2017. First record of the Charru mussel Mytella charruana d’Orbignyi, 1846 (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) from Manila Bay, Luzon, Philippines. BioInvasions Records 6(1): 49-55.

(14) Dumilag RV, Aguinaldo Z-ZA, Mintu CB, Quinto MB, Ame CE, Andres RC, Yap SL, Cao EP, Vital PG, Fontanilla IKC, Monotilla WD. 2017. A review of the current taxonomic status of foliose Bangiales (Rhodophyta) in the Philippines. Phytotaxa 312(1): 47-59.

(13) Sanchez LRS, Magbanua FS and Cao EP. 2017. Isolation, characterization and rapid screening of copper-tolerant cyanobacteria consortia from mining sites and a strawberry farm in Benguet Province, Philippines. Journal of the International Society of Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences 23(2): 8-19.

(12) Santos DMC, Besa CFF, Victoria AJA and Cao EP. 2016. Simple sequence repeat analysis of selected NSIC-registered coffee varieties in the Philippines. Science Diliman 28 (1): 5 – 16.

(11) Cao EP, Constantino-Santos DM, Ramos LAP, Santos BS, Quilang JP, and Mojica RM. 2014.  Molecular and morphological differentiation among Coffea (Rubiaceae) varieties grown in the farms of Cavite Province, Philippines. Philippine Science Letters 7(2): 387–397.

(10) Chong SML, Constantino-Santos DM, and Cao EP. 2014. Pollen morphometrics of four coffee (Coffea sp.) varieties grown in the Philippines. Philippine Journal of Crop Science 39(3): 1-7.

(9) Arnante MES, Enriquez MLD, Cao EP, and Natividad FF. 2014. Preliminary screening for microsatellite instability and loss of heterozygosity in the deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) gene among Filipino patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma. Acta Medica Philippina 48(4): 17-22.

(8) Valenzuela AJF, Santos BS, Quilang JP, and Cao EP.  2011. Comparative use of meristic and geomorphometric analyses of vegetative and floral characters in studying intraspecific variation in Portulaca grandiflora (Hook). Science Diliman 23 (2):  41-53.

(7) Quilang JP, Santos BS, Ong PS, Basiao ZU, Fontanilla IKC, and Cao EP. 2011. DNA barcoding of the Philippine endemic freshwater sardine Sardinella tawilis (Clupeidae) and its marine relatives. The Philippine Agricultural Scientist 94(3): 248–257.

(6) Guzman RMS, Gervasio RNR, Fontanilla IKC, and Cao EP. 2010. Frequency distribution of blood groups ABO, MN and Rh factor in Philippine cosmopolitan, regional, and the national populations. Science Diliman 21 (2): 43–49.

(5) Jalandoni-Buan AC, Decena-Soliven ALA, Cao EP, Barraquio VL, and Barraquio WL. 2010. Characterization and identification of congo red decolorizing bacteria from monocultures and consortia. Philippine Journal of Science 139 (1): 71-78.

(4) De Guzman MC, and Cao EP. 2010. Cadmium binding ability of the blue-green alga Hapalosiphon welwitschii Năgel under controlled conditions. Philippine Science Letters 3 (1): 76–86.

(3) Jalandoni-Buan AC, Decena-Soliven ALA, Cao EP, Barraquio VL, and Barraquio WL. 2009. Congo red decolorizing activity under microcosm and decolorization of other dyes by congo red decolorizing bacteria. Philippine Journal of Science 138 (2): 125-132.

(2) Quilang JP, de Guzman MC, de Hitta-Catalan MH, Rubio RO, Jacinto SD, Santiago EC, and Cao EP.  2008.  Effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on root meristem cells of common onion (Allium cepa L.) and on early life stages of zebrafish (Danio rerio).  Philippine Journal of Science 137(2): 141-151.

(1) Quilang J.P., Basiao ZU, Pagulayan RC, Roderos RR, and Cao EP. 2008. Low isozyme variation in native and transplanted populations of the endemic Philippine silver perch, Leiopotherapon plumbeus (Kner, 1864) from three lakes in the Philippines. The Philippine Agricultural Scientist 91(1): 367-371.