Vol. 7 No. 2
Mulberry genotypes suitable for northern West Bengal
Abstract: Soil acidity is one of the major problems in the sericulture which limits mulberry growth, leaf productivity and quality in many parts of the hills and foothills. More lands are becoming unproductive every year due to accumulation of acidic salts in the regions where the silkworm rearing is an age-old practice. The strategy for maintaining the sericulture production at the optimum level in the areas affected by soil acidity could be the use of mulberry genotypes with comparatively higher soil acidity tolerance. Hot spot evaluation of nine improved mulberry genotypes viz., Tr-4, Tr-8, Tr-10, Tr-12, Tr-20, Tr-23, C-1735, C-2028, S-146 along with BC259 as ruling check was done in foot hills at Matigara sericulture complex, Siliguri (pH 5.2) and in hills at RSRS, Kalimpong (pH 4.6). The experiment was laid out in RBD with three replications and data were recorded for three years on the following characters viz. leaf yield, physiological parameters like net photosynthetic rate (NPR), transpiration rate, physiological water use efficiency (pWUE), stomatal conductance and biochemical parameters like total chlorophyll, soluble sugar, nitrate reductase activity (NRA) and soluble protein. The variances were highly significant against all the characters. Genotype Tr-23 showed superiority over the rest of genotypes for NPR (13.25 µmol m-2 s-1), NRA (12.59 µmol NO2- h-1 g-1 fruit.wt.), total chlorophyll content (1.82 mg g-1 fr. wt.), soluble sugar (31.50 mg g-1 fr. wt.) and soluble protein content (25.44 mg g-1 fruit wt.) It also has recorded higher leaf yield at both the locations, i.e. 24,558 and 14,429 kg/ha/year at Matigara and Kalimpong, respectively as compared to ruling variety, BC259 (15,738 kg ha-1year-1 at Matigara and 8,130 kg ha-1year-1 at Kalimpong). The genotype, Tr-23, is included in All India Co-ordinated Experimental Trials for Mulberry (AICEM)-Phase-III to ascertain its suitability over wider area.
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