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Unit 1: Introduction 


Q.What is sericulture?
Scientific rearing and managements of silk-worms to augment the qualitative and quantitative production of silk from its cocoon to lend a commercial value for the welfare of human being is called sericulture. It involves rearing of silk worms and Cultivation of food plants (mulberry plants/ moriculture for Bombyx mori).

History and present status

Silk route

Q.What do you mean by silk route?
The Silk Route was a historic trade route that dated from the second century B.C. until the 14th century A.D. It stretched from Asia to the Mediterranean, traversing China, India, Persia, Arabia, Greece, and Italy.
It was dubbed the Silk Route because of the heavy silk trading that took place during that period. This valuable fabric originated in China, which initially had a monopoly on silk production until the secrets of its creation spread. In addition to silk, the route facilitated the trade of other fabrics, spices, grains, fruits and vegetables, animal hides, wood and metal work, precious stones, and other items of value.
In 2013, China announced plans it would revive the Silk Route, connecting it with more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Types of silkworms

Distribution and Races

Q.Give examples of some exotic races of silk worm.

Antheraea pemyi (China & Russia), Antheraea yamamai(Japan), Bombyx mandarina (China), Antheraea pernyi (China),


Exotic and indigenous races

Mulberry and non-mulberry Sericulture

Q.What do you mean by Do-Thaki and Hatchi Pa system?
In a 6” square plate, a set of 5 cuttings planted, 1 in each corner and the remaining one in the centre of the square. The in between distance of the sets in 1 meter.
Do-Thaki or Te-Thaki System-(Strip system):It is developed in West Bengal. This is very close system of cultivation where mulberry is grown in strips.

Unit 2: Biology of Silkworm

Life cycle of Bombyx-mori

Structure of silk gland and secretion of silk

Q.What is Fillippi’s gland?

This is a part of silk gland. Present as a pair of accessory structure in the common duct area of glands. It is thought that these glands contribute some waxy materials to the silk thread or lubricate the passage of silk while coming out.


Bombyx-mori silk gland

Unit 3: Rearing of Silkworms

Selection of mulberry variety and establishment of mulberry garden

Q.State the selection process of mulberry varieties.
Many improved yielding varieties have been evolved  through hybridization between local and exotic varieties by scientists of different Central and state sericulture Research Institutes.
The varieties that can be cultivated throughout India include Mysore local, Kanva-2, MR-2, Jatinuni, Maulainuni, C-763, S-799 etc.

Rearing house and rearing appliances.

Disinfectants: Formalin, bleaching powder, RKO


Q.What is the importance of RKO as disinfectant used in sericulture?
Resham Keet Oushadh (RKO is a bed disinfectant which can be applied on the silkworm rearing bed to inactivate pathogenic microbes responsible for muscardine, Grasserie and nuclear polyhedrosis diseases in silkworm. RKO is economical and its usage increases the cocoon yield on an average of 7.00 kg per 100 diseases free layings (dfls). It is easy to use and has no adverse effect on silkworm health, human beings and domestic animals. The quantity of RKO required for treating 100 dfl’s is 3.25 kg. RKO is produced from locally available chemicals and the shelf life of RKO is six months from the date of manufacture.

Silkworm rearing technology: Early age and Late age rearing

Types of mountages


Q.What is mountage?
The most important device that helps or supports the silkworms (larvae) for comfortable spinning their cocoon is called cocoonage or mountage. It determines both the quality and quantity of the cocoons. Different types of cocoonages are used in different parts of India. In general, these are made of wood, bamboo, cardboard, plastic, grass, dry leaves, twigs, etc.



Harvesting and storage of cocoons

Unit 4: Pests and Diseases

Pests of silkworm: 

Uzi fly, dermestid beetles and vertebrates

Q.How uzi fly causes damage in sericulture? Mention few controlling measures against the fly.
Eggs of uzi fly (Tricholyga bombycis & Exorista sorbillans) are deposited on the early instar larvae and the silkworm dies before pupation. If eggs are laid on late larvae, they may pupate and form normal cocoons but in due course, the uzi maggot come out of silk cocoon by cutting it, causing death of silkworm pupa and deactivate perforated cocoon results.

Controlling measures:
i)The doors and windows of rearing room must be guarded with nylon net of fine mesh to prevent the entry of uzi fly.
ii)Spraying of Uzicide (developed by CSR and TI, Mysore) is helpful.
iii)Vijeta is a uzicide use to kill eggs without affecting the silkworm growth.
iii)Biological control by hymenopteran pupal parasites— Brachymeria lugubris, Nesolynx thymers etc are helpful.



Pathogenesis of silkworm diseases: 

Protozoan, viral, fungal and bacterial


Q.What is Pebrine? State its controlling measures.
It is a protozoan (Nosema bomycis) disease of silk worm.. Silkworm gets infected through eggs or by eating contaminated mulberry leaf. Infected silkworms, faecal matter, contaminated rearing house and appliances and alternate hosts (mulberry pest) are the sources of infection.


i)Irregular hatching of silkworm eggs.
ii)Infected larva looses its appetite and becomes inactive with wrinkled skin.
iii)Black paper lke spots appear on the body of the infected worms.
Control measures:
i)Disinfect the rearing house with disinfectants.
ii)Apply bed disinfectant Vijetha/ Ankush as per schedule and quantity.

Q.What are the career options in Sericulture? 
Sericulture offers career opportunity in Govt. research centers, silk boards, academic fields, sericulture units, agriculture sector banks etc. One can get jobs in Central Government agencies like Central Silk Board/Silk Export Promotion Council/Fao/Nabard, Krishi Vigyan Kendra etc. Candidates with M.Sc. sericulture can apply for the post of lecturer, professor and lab assistant. Sericulturists can find employment as officers, managers in the agricultural loan sector of nationalized as well as private banks. Consultants with in-depth and updated knowledge of the field are also in demand, especially to provide guidance for the setting up of sericulture farms.


Control and prevention of pests and diseases

Unit 5: Entrepreneurship in Sericulture 

Prospectus of Sericulture in India: 

Sericulture industry in different states


Q.What is the scope of being a Sericulturist? 
Since agriculture is a basic need for humans, there is always a lot of scope in this field of study. With the advent of technology and developments that come with it, there has been a wide variety of job opportunities in both public and private enterprises

Potential in mulberry and non-mulberry sericulture

Visit to various sericulture centres.

Q.Give example of 2 projects of Central Silk Board in integrated sericulture?
The Central Silk Board is implementing integrated sericulture development projects in different states in collaboration with State Sericulture Department and the NGOs as follows:
a)M/s. Arpitha Grameen Vikas Sansthan, Kanpur (Eri Project), UP.
b)M/s. Grameen Evam Krishi Vikas Samithi Haldwani, Nainital (Uttarkhand).

Honours / Skill Enhancement Course (SEC)


For more detailed Study Material

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