Screening and classification of mulberry silkworm, Bombyx mori based on thermotolerance

Chandrakanth, Nalavadi;Moorthy, Shunmugam M.;Ponnuvel, Kangayam M.;Sivaprasad, Vankadara

  • Received : 2015.09.24
  • Accepted : 2015.12.28
  • Published : 2015.12.31


The tropical climate prevailing in India adversely affects temperate bivoltine silkworm rearing and causes crop loss especially during summer. Identification of high temperature tolerant bivoltine breeds by screening for thermotolerance in the silkworm, Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) is an essential prerequisite for the development of thermotolerant bivoltine breeds / hybrids. Therefore, in this study, 20 silkworm breeds were reared at different temperatures (25 ± 1℃,32 ± 1℃, 34 ± 1℃ and 36 ± 1℃) for 6 h every day from 3rd d of 5th instar to till spinning. Significant differences (p < 0.01) were found among all the rearing traits over temperature. Based on pupation percentage, SK4C and BHR3 were identified as thermotolerant bivoltine breeds. Hierarchical clustering analysis based on rearing traits at tested temperatures grouped 20 silkworm breeds in four clusters which included one cluster each of susceptible and tolerant, and two clusters of moderately tolerant silkworm breeds. This suggests that clustering based on rearing data at high temperatures by using Euclidean distance can be an effective approach in classifying the silkworm breeds on their thermotolerance capacity. The identified breeds would be used for development of thermo tolerant bivoltine silkworm breeds / hybrids.


thermotolerance;rearing traits;pupation percentage;euclidean distance


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