Methods in Microbiology | 2021
Recent trends in tasar silkworm Antheraea mylitta Drury disease management
Abstract Tropical tasar silkworm, Antheraea mylitta Drury is wild in nature and reared outdoors on its primary food plants Terminalia tomentosa, T. arjuna and Shorea robusta. The oak tasar A. pernyi silkworm is a temperate species that feeds on leaves of oak tree, Quercus sp. Tropical tasar silkworm larvae often suffer from various diseases causing heavy losses to the economy of the tasar silk industry. Virosis, pebrine, muscardine and bacteriosis are the commonly prevalent diseases caused respectively by Antheraea mylitta Cytoplasmic Polyhedrosis Virus (AmCPV, a reovirus), Nosema mylitta (Microsporidia), Penicillium citrinum and Penicillium variotii (Fungus) and different types of bacteria. In India, the extent of tasar crop loss due to the silkworm diseases is nearly 40%. The estimated crop loss due to pebrine, virosis, bacteriosis and muscardine is 20–25%, 25–30%, 10–15% and 2–5%, respectively of total crop loss. Thus, virus and bacteria cause comparatively higher levels of mortality. Seed, feed and breed are the three important parameters considered for successful sericulture. Bad weather, ineffective disinfection and poor rearing management leads to disease outbreaks and severe crop loss in tasar ecosystem. For managing these diseases, the Central Tasar Research and Training Institute (CTR&TI), Central Silk Board, Ranchi has developed various cost effective technologies such as Pebrine Visualisation Solution, Dupratex, Jeevan Sudha, Tasar Keet Oushad, etc. The details of the integrated tasar silkworm disease management is also discussed in this chapter.