Evaluation of Bivoltine Silkworm Breeds of Bombyx mori L. under West Bengal Conditions

Suresh Kumar, Lakshmi, Saha, Bindroo, Longkumer
The Indian sericulture industry is beset with many problems. One of the main problems is the inability to produce quality silk of international grade. The quality silk can be produced only form bivoltines. The bulk of silk produced in India is from Multivoltines which are of inferior quality. Therefore, it is highly pertinent to have more productive bivoltine silkworm breeds capable of producing quality silk. However, the hot climatic conditions of India is not conducive to rear productive
more » ... ear productive bivoltines. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop bivoltine breeds which can yield stable crops under the adverse climatic conditions. Accordingly, efforts should be focussed by the silkworm breeders to develop bivoltine breeds with genetic plasticity to buffer against the adverse climatic conditions. The main constraint of the tropical environment is the high temperature coupled with high and low humidity. It is a well established fact that the bivoltines are highly vulnerable to high temperature coupled with high and low humidity especially in the late instars. The hot climatic conditions of tropics prevailing particularly in summer are contributing to the poor performance of the bivoltine breeds and the most important aspect is that many quantitative characters such as viability and cocoon traits decline sharply when temperature is high. Therefore, it is highly pertinent to identify more number of bivotine breeds which can withstand adverse climatic conditions. Accordingly, the present study was carried out to evaluate and identify suitable bivoltine breeds under West Bengal conditions of India.