1. Mulberry Breeding & Genetics
2. Mulberry Management Section
3. Plant Pathology & Microbiology Section
4. Central Farm Management.
Research on mulberry, the only food plant for the silkworm a major contributing factor for success of rearing and cocoon yield is being carried out with the thrust on the quality and productivity improvement coupled with reduction in production cost.
Mulberry breeding and Genetics:
Collection of mulberry accessions and their maintenance in the germ plasm, evaluation and breeding for high yielding varieties are given prime importance. Presently, the institute has 380 mulberry accessions (202 indigenous and 178 exotic accessions) collected from 27 countries and are maintained for its utilization in breeding programmes. Continuous efforts are being made for its development and release of improved mulberry varieties to the field.
The ‘Viswa’, mulberry variety released earlier during January 1994 has been authorized by the Mulberry Variety Authorization Committee (MVAC), Central Silk Board for cultivation in irrigated, high temperature and hot-arid regions of South India. Another variety, ‘Vishala’ released during January 2000 has also been authorized by MVAC, CSB as the national check. One more high yielding variety, ‘Suvarna’ developed by the institute has gone for national authorization. The program for popularization of Vishala and Suvarna are being taken up.
Recommendations under agronomical practices are made for intercropping other crops with mulberry as the main crop. In addition, package of practices for ‘Viswa’ and ‘S-36’ varieties are also recommended for silkworm seed crop.
Physiological studies have resulted in developing nutrient budgeting for different mulberry genotypes and application of organic manure (FYM) in split doses. ‘Harith’ a foliar spray formulation has been brought out for recovery of micronutrient deficiencies.
Soil testing and soil fertility management to increase yield and quality of mulberry, is an important activity taken up by the Institute. A well equipped soil testing laboratory contributes towards making an appropriate corrective measures and fertilizer recommendations for the benefit of the farmers. So far more than 80,000 soil samples have been tested and another 6300 soil samples have been analyzed for micronutrient status and suitable recommendations have been given. Soil fertility maps are also prepared for 18 taluks and an exclusive micronutrient status maps are also prepared for Chintamani and Chikkaballapura taluks. A Soil Health Centre (SHC) is established for promoting balanced and judicious use of fertilizers in conjunction with organic sources.
Plant Pathology and Microbiology:
Studies in the field of Plant Pathology and Microbiology have resulted in establishing epidemiological factors responsible for disease development in mulberry and formulation of integrated disease management methods with emphasis on biological control. The studies have contributed to the release of “Seri-Bioguard” and “Seri-Nematoguard” the two fungus based biocontrol products for the effective control of the most rampant black root rot and root knot diseases. Extensive studies on nutrient mobilization through microbial associations have led to the release of mulberry specific formulations of Seriphos and Seri-Multiphos; Prakruthi and Seri-Prakruthi – single and multistrain bacterial biofertilizers for nitrogen and phosphorus economy, leaf yield and quality improvement. To increase the shelf life, quality and to reduce the dosage and cost, liquid formulations of biofertilizer inoculants have been developed. To hasten decomposition of sericultural wastes and to prepare enriched compost “Seri – Comporich” a consortium of lingo-cellulolytic micro organisms has been developed and released. The section also conducts survey and diagnosis of mulberry diseases and recommends integrated approaches for their management. To meet the field demands the microbial products have been licensed for commercial production to private companies. The scientists also guide students for doctoral studies and project work for award of Master’s degree.