Prevalence and molecular characterization of viruses causing diseases in Bombyx mori L. (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) from different climatic regions of India


  • Central Silk Board, Pampore, Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, Jammu and Kashmir, 192 121, India
  • Central Silk Board, Mysore, Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, Karnataka, 570 008, India
  • Central Silk Board, Mysore, Central Sericultural Research & Training Institute, Karnataka, 570 008, India


A number of viruses are known to cause the disease in mulberry silkworm, Bombyx mori L. and cause significant cocoon crop loss to the farmers. The study has been undertaken to assess the prevalence of silkworm viral diseases caused by B. Mori Nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV), B. mori Infectious Flacherie Virus (BmIFV) and B. mori Densovirus1 (BmDNV1) through external symptoms and molecular characterization from different climatic regions of India. During the intensive exploratory surveys in 2017, silkworm larvae with typical symptoms of BmNPV, BmIFV and BmDNV1 were collected across seven provinces from North India [Kashmir (temperate), Jammu, Ghumarwin in Himachal Pradesh, Dehradun in Uttarakhand (subtropical) and South India [Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (tropical)]. Dissection of diseased specimens confirmed the presence of virus through anatomical changes viz, size, shape and colour of organs after disease attack. The viruses were isolated and identified through PCR amplification of highly conserved genes. The results reveal that BmNPV, BmIFV and BmDNV1 are evenly prevalent across India. The infection percentage of BmNPV, BmIFV and BmDNV1 in North India (11.41 ± 1.21, 7.81 ± 0.67 and 7.40 ± 0.61) was significantly higher than South India (1.61 ± 0.17, 1.52 ± 0.14 and 1.62 ± 0.14), respectively. The highest prevalence of these viruses was observed from subtropical followed by temperate and tropical climate. The knowledge of the prevalence of these viruses in India and their synergism with bacteria and influence of other possible factors is important for preventing cocoon crop losses caused by viral diseases in India.


Bombyx mori, BmNPV, BmIFV, BmDNV1, characterization, prevalence

Subject Discipline

Entomology; Sericulture; Silkworm Pathology

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