New variety of mulberry, hybrid silkworm launched in Mysuru

New variety of mulberry, hybrid silkworm launched in Mysuru

Plant can be grown in semi-arid regions; the worm is disease-resistant, say findings

In an attempt to boost silk production and expand the area of sericulture in the country, the Central Silk Board introduced a new variety of Mulberry- ‘MSG 2’ and a hybrid silkworm ‘S8XCSR16.’ The latest varieties were dedicated by Union Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar, in Mysuru on Tuesday.

The latest mulberry is suitable for cultivation in semi-arid regions, where soil moisture stress is a limiting factor for the sericulture. The plants have potential to produce 23 metric tonnes of leaf per year in one hectare, under moisture stress conditions.

The plant is moderately tolerant to foliar diseases and is suitable for growing as small trees under protective irrigation.

The ‘MSG 2’ is characterised by erect branches, thick dark-green leaves and short inter-nodal distance. It has high rooting ability and better survival rate, compared to other mulberries. Presently, the country has 60 per cent V1 variety followed by S1635, particularly in Eastern India.

The newly introduced cocoon breed plays major role in increasing the productivity and quality of silk for sustainable silk production. The improvement in worm breed is achieved through recombination of genes by crossing diverse silkworm stocks identified for desired traits. The breed has ability to produce good quality silk and capable to tolerate high temperature and resistant to diseases, said Member Secretary of the Central Silk Board H Nagesh Prabhu.

A highly productive ‘S8XCSR16’ was developed and characterised by high reliability of 90 per cent and 95 per cent of neatness with better raw silk recovery of 19.5%. The cocoon yields range between 70 and 80 kilo gram per 100 dfsl.

The newly developed breed would improve both productivity and silk quantity enabling country to achieve the target of 5,000 metric tonnes (MT) of bivoltine silk production and 28,000 MT of mulberry raw silk by 2016-17. With this, the effects on climate changes could also be addressed, he added.

Farmer Hanumanthu was handed over the ‘S8XCSR16’ hybrid silkworm, while mulberry plant was given to another farmer Krishna from Telangana.

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