Savarapu Sugnana Kumari, Sure Venkata Subbarao, Sunil Misra, Upadyayula Suryanarayana Murty
Journal of Insect Science 11 (116), 1-14, (1 September 2011) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.011.11601
KEYWORDS: genetic traits, rearing performance, survival rate, temperature stress, thermotolerant
A tropical climate prevails in most of the sericultural areas in India, where temperature increases during the summer lead to adverse effects on temperate bivoltine silkworm rearing and cause crop losses. Screening for thermotolerance in the silkworm, Bombyxmori L. (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) is an essential prerequisite for the development of thermotolerant breeds/hybrids. In the current study, the aim was to identify potential bivoltine silkworm strains specific for tolerance to high temperature. The third day of fifth stage silkworm larvae of bivoltine strains were subjected to high temperature of 36 ± 1° C with RH of 50 ± 5 % for six hours (10:00–16:00) every day until spinning for three consecutive generations. Highly significant differences were found among all genetic traits of bivoltine silkworm strains in the treated groups. Three groups of silkworm resulted including susceptible, moderately tolerant, and tolerant by utilizing pupation rate or survival rate with thermal stress as the index for thermotolerance. Furthermore, based on the overall silkworm rearing performance of nine quantitative genetic traits such as larval weight, cocoon yield by number and weight, pupation, single cocoon and shell weight, shell ratio, filament length and denier, three bivoltine silkworm strains, BD2-S, SOF-BR and BO2 were developed as having the potential for thermotolerance. The data from the present study enhance knowledge for the development of thermo tolerant silkworm breeds/ hybrids and their effective commercial utilization in the sericulture industry.