Studies on Biochemical Changes of Fungal Infected Mulberry Leaves and their Effect on Growth and Cocoon Characteristics of the Silkworm (Bombyx mori) (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae)
Kumar, Harendra; Priya, Yuvana Satya; Kumar, Mukesh; Elangovan, Vadamalai
Abstract The fungal pathogens cause a variety of foliar diseases such as leaf blight, leaf spot, powdery mildew and leaf rust and affect the nutritive content of mulberry leaves. This study was aimed to investigate the biochemical changes of fungal infected mulberry leaves and their effect on larval growth and cocoon characteristics of silkworm (Bombyx mori). The foliar diseases such as powdery mildew, leaf spot, leaf rust and leaf blight were observed during the course of investigation, however the maximum leaf damage was caused by leaf spot and powdery mildew. The infestation of fungal diseases was higher during rainy and moist period of the year. The nutritive contents such as protein (t = 8.373, p < 0.05), carbohydrate (t = 29.456, p < 0.05) and total chlorophyll (t = 23.499, p < 0.05) of healthy and infected mulberry leaves differed significantly. Further, the apparent influence of fungal infested leaves was observed on larval length (t = 9.220, p < 0.05), larval weight (t = 6.406, p < 0.05), single cocoon weight (t = 17.233, p < 0.05), shell weight (t = 25.475, p < 0.05), shell ratio (t = 11.575, p < 0.05), filament length (t = 28.064, p < 0.05) and effective rate of rearing (t = 13.366, p < 0.05). The present investigation confirms the loss of nutrients in the fungal infested mulberry leaves and its effect on larval growth and economic traits.