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India begins field trials of transgenic silkworms
Feb '16
The government has initiated the country's field trials of transgenic silkworms that are not only resistant to diseases but will also help boost overall production of silk.

Multi-locational field trials of transgenic silkworm have been initiated in “contained facilities” after the approval of Review Committee of Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) at four locations. The trials are being conducted at Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute (CSR&TI), Mysore, CSR&TI, Berhampore, CSR&TI, Pampore and Andhra Pradesh State Sericulture Research and Development Institute (APSSRDI), Hindupur, according to an agency report.

The large scale death of silkworms due to diseases prompted the research groups of Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad and APSSRDI to develop transgenic silkworms resistant to BmNPV virus.

This type of silkworms can be reared by the farming community through the year. A transgenic animal is one that carries a foreign gene that has been deliberately inserted into its genome.

Mohammed Aslam, a senior scientist and adviser to the Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology (S&T) said the Indian silkworms have resistance to fight diseases.

Silkworms from China and Japan have the capacity to produce good quality silk but, if introduced in the tropical climate of India, they succumb to diseases as their resistance level is low. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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