Identification of Improved Crossbreeds of Silkworm, Bombyx Mori L. Suitable for Southern India
Majority of Indian Sericulture Industry is crossbreed oriented and contributes more than 80% of mulberry raw silk production. The most popular crossbreed in Southern India is PM x CSR2 (Kolar Gold), which has limitations like lower cocoon shell content and silk quality and high renditta. Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute (CSRTI), Mysore has developed several alternative crossbreeds to replace PM x CSR2 with higher shell content and improved fibre quality. In the present investigation, all the crossbreed combinations (99) utilizing nine multivoltine and eleven bivoltine breeds were evaluated in the laboratory and to short-list nine crossbreed hybrids based on multiple trait evaluation index. These were further evaluated in the laboratory for a period of two years and two promising crossbreeds viz., NDV6 x CSR51 and L14 x CSR50 based on rearing and reeling performance encompassing economic traits. The promising crossbreeds have excelled for most of the quantitative and qualitative cocoon traits as compared to PM x CSR2. The better performance of improved crossbreeds (ICBs) might be due to the utilization of parental stocks with productive merits and vigour. These ICBs could be further subjected large scale field testing to increase the power loom quality raw silk production in India.