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Conservation of tasar silkworm biodiversity through biotechnological approaches : a brief review

A. K. Srivastava*, P. K. Kar, M. K. Sinha, & B. C. Prasad
Silkworm Breeding and Genetics Division
Central Tasar Research and Training Institute, Central Silk Board, Piska Nagri, Ranchi -835 303, Jharkhand, India
Received 3rd May, 2010; Revised 16th August, 2010

Abstract : Biodiversity is the collection of plants and animals that inhabit a particular ecosystem including the interactions between them. Tasar biodiversity is a healthy biological interaction between silkworm, Antheraea mylitta Drury and its host plants- Shorea robusta, Terminalia tomentosa, T. arjuna etc. and forms an integral part of forest ecosystem. The populations of A. mylitta are declining alarmingly in their natural habitat due to rapid deforestation, rampant collection of nature grown cocoons and pollution in the forest by coal, mineral and industrialization. Tasar culture holds great promise for agro-industry and forestry as supplementary activity of weaker section of the society. The economic potentiality and the need for superior varieties cross breed / hybrids are very much felt in order to enhance tasar silk production and bring improvement in its quality and quantity through various biotechnological means. The present paper deals with the availability of tasar biodiversity, conservation strategies applied so far and applicability of biotechnology in conservation of Tasar biodiversity that may enhance our ability to preserve genetic resources and reserves of tropical tasar silkworm, A. mylitta Drury.


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