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Silkworm disease incidence trends during the years 1992–2011 in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal, India

  • Zakir Hossain (a1), Satadal Chakraborty (a1), Sunil Kumar Gupta (a2), Atul Kumar Saha (a1) and Bharat Bhushan Bindroo (a1)...

The Murshidabad District of West Bengal, India has practised traditional mulberry sericulture since time immemorial. One of the most important aspects for sustainable development of the sericulture industry is the control and prevention of silkworm diseases. The main objective of this study was to determine silkworm disease incidence over the period 1992–2011 in Murshidabad District and how environmental factors have contributed towards their occurrence. Data were collected from a crop-wise survey of silkworm diseases from 25 farmers (five farmers from five villages), who each had a separate rearing house, were progressive and had a capacity of rearing at least 100 disease free layings (dfls) in each crop. Disease incidence was expressed in percentage and calculated taking into consideration 40,000 larvae per 100 dfls. Crop-wise silkworm disease mortality data were correlated with meteorological data. Data collected from the continuous survey conducted in the district during 1992–2011 revealed that there was no set pattern of occurrence of silkworm diseases. However, maximum mortality (up to 30%) of silkworm due to diseases in all the seasons occurred mainly due to grasserie, as relative humidity remains high for most part of the year in this area. However, other than grasserie, for most of the period, disease incidence was below 10%. This observation of the dominance of grasserie over other diseases in causing silkworm mortality calls for renewed emphasis on the preventive measures and development of disease forecasting models, for disease control. Another observation was that since 1993, pebrine, the deadliest disease of the silkworm, has not been reported from the farmers’ fields.

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International Journal of Tropical Insect Science
  • ISSN: 1742-7584
  • EISSN: 1742-7592
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