DMMMSU SRDI Breeds First Sex-Linked Bivoltine Silkworm In RP
Year-round cocoon production is now possible with the Philippines’ first sex-linked bivoltine (SLB) silkworm strain. The strain, developed by the Sericulture Research and Development Institute (SRDI) of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), has a special property of producing two generations each year.
In commercial cocoon production, productivity at the farmer’s level is dependent in the, production of Fi silkworm hybrids. This; in turn, is dependent on the sex discrimination of parental strains. However, the separation of male from female parents is laborious and accounts for 29% of the total labor required for egg production.
DMMMSU SLB silkworm strain simplifies sex discrimination by larval markings on their skins. Two larval markings, plain and dark double mark (DDM), are expressed by larvae produced by the evolved sex-linked silkworm pureline coded as DMMMSU SLB. All the larvae, without body markings, are males, while those with DDM are females. DDM is characterized by an eye spot marking on the second thoracic segment, a pair of crescent marking on the dorsal side of the second abdominal segment, and a pair of star marks on the dorsal side of the 5th abdominal segment, in addition to sooty grey random mosaic color all over the body.
These larval characters of DMMMSU SLB result in easy identification of the female and male for effective commercial hybrid egg production and greatly reduce the time by 18 hours or 31.25% and labor cost by 44% compared to normal strains.
With ease in identification, DMMMSU SLB does not require well-trained persons to identify/separate the female from the male larvae. Sex-linked larval marking strains leads to faster sex discrimination and cause little sexing errors (0.22) compared to normal strains.
With bivoltine strains, production of cocoons in semi-arid areas is viable even under adverse environmental and rearing conditions. Hence, cocoon production is maximized throughout the year.
The development of DMMMSU SLB silkworm strain is seen as a big leap towards a viable and highly sustainable sericulture industry.
DMMMSU SLB can be effectively used for commercial hybrid egg production wherein increased high quality cocoon production and income from cocoon production is possible year-round.
DMMMSU is one of the member agencies of Ilocos Agriculture Resources Research and Development (ILARRDEC), one of the consortia of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD). (S&T Media Service)