Mulberry and Silkworm Crop Protection

By Dr S H Divya   |   University of Mysore, Mysuru
Learners enrolled: 176
Sericulture is practiced in more than 50 countries of the world under tropical and subtropical conditions.  In India, it is a well established agro-based cottage industry with greater employment opportunities in rural areas. India enjoys a dubious distinction of being the only country producing all the five commercially known silks, viz. mulberry, tropical tasar, temperate or oak tasar, eri and muga.  Among these, mulberry silk alone accounts for about 90% of the raw silk produced in the country. Mulberry sericulture chiefly comprises four distinct activities, viz. mulberry cultivation, silkworm rearing, silkworm egg production as well as silk reeling and silk weaving.  Of these, mulberry cultivation and silkworm rearing form the basis for rest of the activities and contribute greatly to ultimate and determine the profitability. 

Mulberry (Morus spp.) constitutes the exclusive food plant of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Hence, production of an appreciable quantity of superior quality mulberry foliage assumes great significance in order to realize silkworm rearing a profitable venture. Some of the major constraints in this regard includes lack of irrigation, insufficient rainfall, unscientific  agronomical practices and outbreak of diseases and pests. The diseases of mulberry are caused by fungi, bacteria, nematodes, mycoplasma and viruses and account for a reduction of 12-15% in leaf production apart from considerable decline in quality.  Similarly, the pests cause a reduction of 10-15% in leaf yield in addition to sizeable lowering of quality.  With regard to silkworm diseases caused by protozoa, bacteria, viruses and fungi.  The loss in cocoon yield is of the order of 10-15% with considerable reduction in silk quantity.  Likewise the pests, chiefly the uzi fly, Exorista bombycis inflict a reduction of 10-20% in cocoon yield.  On the whole, the pests and diseases of mulberry and silkworm constitute the major impediments that cause considerable economic loss.  Therefore, there is 
an dire need to sericulture farmers to take up appropriate measures to alleviate the problems in question in order to realize the desired benefits. 

The course helps us to understand the technologies and package of practices for mulberry and silkworm diseases and management of insect pests. This will aid in developing of forewarning systems, disease monitoring system to individuals involved in mulberry cultivation, silkworm seed multiplication and rearing of silkworms. Also maintain, multiply and supply of bio-control agents to control the insect pests of host plant and silkworm with evaluation and management strategies for prevention and control. Study and understanding of the therapeutic control of fungal, viral and bacterial diseases of silkworm along with the other factors responsible for crop losses. This knowledge can be used in enhancing the productivity of mulberry and silkworm both qualitatively and quantitatively
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 15 Jul 2019
End Date : 30 Sep 2019
Exam Date : 10 Nov 2019 IST
Enrollment Ends : 11 Sep 2019
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
Credit Points : 4
Level : Undergraduate

Course layout

Week – I | 1. Status of Mulberry Pests & their Classification | 2. Categories and Types of Pests | 3. Leaf Eating Pest Mulberry | 4. Sucking Pests of Mulberry | 

Week – II | 5.Pest Surveillance and Forecasting | 6. Insect Pests Control | 7. Integrated Pest Management | 8. Biological Control of Mulberry Pests |

Week – III | 9. Integrated Management of Mulberry Pests | 10. Host-Pathogen- Environment Interaction | 11. Principles of Plant Infection | 12. Pathological and Ecological Anatomy of Mulberry |

Week – IV | 13. Classification and Symptoms of Plant Diseases | 14. Shoot Diseases of Mulberry | 15. Root diseases of Mulberry | 16. Foliar Diseases of Mulberry |

Week – V | 17. Nematodes | 18. Viral and Mycoplasma Diseases of Mulberry | 19. Integrated Management of Mulberry Diseases | 20. Insect vector |

Week – VI | 21.Common Weeds of Mulberry | 22. Weed Management in Mulberry | 23. Alleopathy Weeds with Allelopathy potentiality |

Week – VII | 24. Papaya Mealy bug Infesting Mulberry and its Management | 25. History, Distribution and Taxonomy of Silkworm Tachinid Fly | 26. Pests of Grainage of their Management |

Week – VIII | 27. Bio-Ecology of Silkworm Uzi fly | 28. Integrated  Management of Silkworm Uzi fly | 29. Biological Control of Silkworm Uzi fly |

Week – IX | 30. Mass Production of Bio-Control Agents | 31. Status  of Silkworm Diseases and Classification | 32. Pre-disposing factors for Diseases of Silkworm |

Week – X | 33. Microsporidian Diseases of Silkworm | 34. Bacterial Diseases of Silkworm | 35. Fungal Diseases  of Silkworm | 36.Non-Infectious Diseases of Silkworm |

Week –XI | 37. Diagnosis of Silkworm Diseases | 38. Disinfection in Silkworm Rearing | 39. Bed Disinfection of Silkworm | 40. Integrated Management of Silkworm Diseases |

Books and references

Reading material


Type of publication (article/notes)

Content Abstract

Number of pages

Introduction to Sericulture. Oxford and IBH Pub. Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi,

Ganga, G. and Sulochana Chetty, J. (2010)

Text Book

Diseases of mulberry- fungal, bacterial,viral, nematode disease, deficiency diseases, macronutrients, pests of mulberry-leaf eating, lepidopteran pests, diseases of Bombyx mori, pests of silkworm.


Mulberry crop protection

Central Silk Board, Bangalore

Dr. Govindaiah, Dr. V. P. Gupta, Dr. D. D. Sharma,

Dr. S. Rajadurai and

Ms. V. Nishitha Naik (2005)

Text Book

Mulberry pest and disease Management and mass production technology of predators and parasitoids recommended in IPM practise.


Silkworm  Crop Protection

Central Silk Board, Bangalore

Dr. B. Nataraju

Dr. K. Sathya Prasad,

Dr. D. Manjunath and

Mr. C. Aswani Kumar


Text Book

Diseases in Insects, Silkworm pest, diseases and their Management, Integrated Management of silkworm diseases, Bio-ecology of uzi fly,  Mass production technology of parasitoids.


Hand book of sericulture technologies.

Central Silk Board, Bangalore

Dr. S. B. Dandin and

Dr. K. Giridhar


Text Book

Mulberry diseases and pests-control measures, Integrated nutrient management, silkworm diseases, pests and their management,


Densonucleosis and infectious flacherie of silkworm.

Dept. Of sericulture, university of agricultural sciences, Bangalore.

R. Govindan and M. C. Devaiah


Text Book

Densonucleosis– Bombyx mori DNVs, diagnostic procedures, symptoms, Epizootiology and prevention, Infectious Flacherie-Bombyx mori IFVs, Symptomatology of infectious flacherie and prevention


Bacterial Flacherie of silkworm

Dept. Of sericulture, university of agricultural sciences, Bangalore.

R. Govindan and M. C. Devaiah


Text Book

Bacterial flacherie, bacterial toxicosis and prevention


Silkworm Uzi fly.

Zen Publishers

K. C. Narayanaswamy and

M. C. Devaiah

Text Book

Distribution, history, taxonomy, morphology, anatomy, bio-ecology of silkworm uzi fly, host- parasitoid physiological interrelationship, management and  Integrated pest management


Instructor bio

Dr. S.H. Divya, Course Coordinator for Silkworm crop protection course under Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) currently am working as a Lecturer in the Department of Sericulture, Yuvaraja’s College, University of Mysore, Mysuru. I have obtained Bachelor’s degree in Life science, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Sericulture from the University of Mysore, Mysuru. In addition, I have completed Master of Library and Information Science from Karnataka State Open University, Mysuru. In addition I have obtained Diploma in Office Management.

I have about 10 years of research experience and three years of teaching experience in Sericulture. My fields of specialisation include Insect Breeding and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). I have published 14 research articles in leading national and international journals, 6 popular articles and 1 short note. I have participated presented more than 21 research articles in international, national, conferences and workshops. I have received appreciation certificate for management of papaya mealy bug, Paracoccus marginatus through classical biological control in south India at sericulture farmer’s workshop at Bagalkot during 2013. I am having a life membership of academic body Indian Science Congress, Kolkata. I have participated as a subject expert/ script writer for 14 modules and external preview expert in the subject of Sericulture in Audio/Visual based lecture programmes for 168 modules in the multimedia production/e-content development under NME-ICT project of CEC-UGC through the Educational Multimedia Research Center, University of Mysore, Mysuru.

Course certificate

30% for in Course Assessment and 70% of End term Proctored Exam 

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