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Biology of the silkworm, Bombyx mori

By Dr M N Anil Kumar   |   University of Mysore, Mysuru
The Bombyx mori, is a lepidopteran sericigenous insect. It belongs to family Bomycidae and the Super family Bombycoidea.  For this insect, mulberry is sole food plant and it has been domesticated since 2500 BC.  Like any other holometabolous insect it has passes through four distinct stages such as egg, larva, pupa and adult in their life cycle.  In silkworm, though voltinism and moultinism are inherited characters but these characters are manifested at some extant by the environmental conditions like temperature and relative humidity, besides quality of mulberry leaf provided.

There are about as many as 2000 silkworm strains and rearing have been engaged in more than thirty countries of the world because of their economic importance.   India is only the country which engaged in rearing of both mulberry and non-mulberry silkworms viz., tasar, eri and muga.  The silkworm, B. mori utilizes mulberry nutrients and convert the same into silk protein such as fibroin and sericin in the form of cocoons. However, utilization of these nutrients differ sharply in different silkworm breeds is due to genetic endowment which inturn reflects on various metabolic process takes place in the silkworm body.  

The India trails behind the China and occupy second position in the world for raw silk production. The quality and quantum of cocoon production depends upon mulberry leaf rich in nutrition, environmental conditions maintained during rearing and high yielding silkworm breeds. In addition to this, physiology of silkworm is also important it depends upon balance between anaboloic and catabolic process.  Thus 
physiological process are utmost importance for growth and development of silkworm larva which produce good quality cocoon.

The Bombyx mori, is a lepidopteran, sericigenous, holometabolous insect and mulberry serves as a sole food plant.  India is only the country which engaged in rearing of both mulberry and non-mulberry silkworms viz., tasar, eri and muga.  The silkworm, B. mori utilizes mulberry nutrients and convert the same into silk protein such as fibroin and sericin in the form of cocoons. However, utilization of these nutrients differs sharply in different silkworm breeds are due to genetic endowment. India holds second position in the world for raw silk production. The quality and quantum of cocoon production depends upon mulberry leaf rich in nutrition, environmental conditions maintained during rearing and high yielding silkworm breeds

Learners enrolled: 469

SUMMARY

Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 15 Jul 2019
End Date : 30 Sep 2019
Exam Date : 09 Nov 2019
Enrollment Ends : 10 Sep 2019
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
  • Level : Undergraduate

    COURSE LAYOUT

    Week – I  | 1. Characteristic Features of Insects | 2. Metamorphosis in Insects | 3. Types of Metamorphosis | 4. Salient Features of insect order | 5. Study of order Lepidoptera |

    Week – II | 6. Sericigenous Fauna | 7. Beneficial Insects | 8. Harmful Insects | 9. Silkworm |

    Week – III |10. Insect behavior | 11. Ovoviviparity and viviparity in insects | 12. Eggs Structure | 13. Embryology of Bombyx mori |

    Week - IV | 14. Systematic Position of Mulberry and Non Mulberry Silkworms | 15. Silkworm Growth &  Metamorphosis 
    16. Popular Silkworm Breeds |

    Week – V | 17. Voltinism in Silkworm | 18. Morphology of Egg, Larva, Pupa and Adult of Bombyx mori | 19. Integument: Structure, chemical composition  |
    20. Sclerotization of cuticle |

    Week – VI | 21. Coloration and Moulting: integumentary derivatives | 22.Insect Nutrition | 23. Metabolism in Insects |
    24. Hemolymph | 

    Week – VII | 25. Circulatory system in insects | 26. Wing, antenna and leg circulation | 27. Insect nervous system |

    Week - VIII | 28. Neuroendocrine system | 29. Insect Hormones | 30. Insect Immune System | 

    Week – IX | 31. Respiration: Insect respiratory system | 32. Excretion – Malpighian tubules | 33. Water balance in insect |

    Week - X | 34. Digestive, Circulatory and Excretory system of Silkworm larvae | 35. Respiratory, Muscular, nervous, and reproduction system | 36. Muscle Physiology in silkworm Bombyx mori |

    Week - XI | 37. Endocrinology of silk worm | 38. Moulting in silkworm | 39. Morphological and anatomical structure of silk gland and its physiology | 40. Anatomy of silk moth |

    BOOKS AND REFERENCES


    Reading material

    Author

    Type of publication (article/notes)

    Content Abstract

    Number of pages

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

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

    Text Book

    Origin and history of sericulture, central Silk board, mulberry sericulture, morphology and anatomy and physiology of Bombyx mori, silkworm rearing etc.,

    302

    Silkworm Rearing Technology, Central Silk Board, Bangalore

    Dr. R. K. Rajan & Dr. M. T. Himantharaj

    Text Book

    Planning for silkworm rearing, incubation of silkworm eggs mounting and harvesting etc.,

    163

    Insect Biochemistry,

    Widsom Press, New Delhi

    Chinmoy Goswami and Abha Bhardwaj

    Text Book

    Biochemistry of digestive system, respiration in insect etc.

    345

    A text book of Entomology

    R. Mathur

    Text Book

    Digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, excretory system, reproductive system, nervous system, the glands of secretion of insects, etc.

    372

    Development Physiology of Silkworms (translation of second Japanese edition) Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi

    S. Morohoshi

    Text Book

    Endocrine organs of insects, Developmental physiology of silkworms etc.

    287

    Advances in Mulberry Sericulture,

    CVG Publications, Bangalore

    M. C. Devaiah, K. C. Narayanaswamy and V. G. Maribashetty

    Text Book

    Mulberry and silkworm nutrition etc.

    579


    INSTRUCTOR BIO


    I Dr. M. N. Anil Kumar, Principal Investigator for Biology of the silkworm, Bombyx mori course under Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) currently work as Assistant Professor in the Department of Studies in Sericulture Science, University of Mysore, obtained Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Mysore, Mysuru.  My fields of specialisation are Silkworm Nutrition and Biochemistry. I have more than 20 years of teaching and 10 years of research experience.

    I have guided more than 20 M.Sc. students for their project work.  Presently, two students are working for their Ph.D program in Sericulture. I have also participated and presented more than 40 papers in both national and international Conferences / Seminars / Workshops.  I holds membership in academic bodies like Indian Science Congress, Kolkata, Swadeshi Vigyan Andolana – Karnataka, Bengaluru. I have more than 10 research publications to my credit in the journals of national and international repute.  I have also associated in the development of curricula for undergraduate and post graduate courses in Sericulture. I have been serving as an external examiner in Sericulture in different universities. 

    COURSE CERTIFICATE

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


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