Effect Of Silkworm Litter Biology Essay

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An experiment was conducted to study the influence of composted silkworm litter - pupal waste (SLPW) and other organic manures on growth parameters and leaf yield of mulberry. The compost made of SLPW (Silkworm litter - pupal waste) was rich in nutrient content than the farm yard manure and vermicompost used in the experiment. The results clearly indicated that the application of SLPW + Vermicompost recorded significantly higher leaf yield (32,098.5 kg) and NPK content (3.11%, 0.39% and 2.48 %) respectively. Further, there was no significant difference in the quantity of chemical components of the leaves raised completely either on SLPW or other manures. These results are discussed in relation to the suitability of SLPW compost in improving the mulberry leaf quality.

Key word: Silkworm litter - pupal waste, FYM, Vermicompost, Mulberry.

INTRODUCTION

Sericulture is one of the most important agro based industries which play a vital role in alleviating rural unemployment and improving the social - economic status of rural folk. Mulberry (Morus spp) is the sole food source for the silkworm, Bombyx mori. The healthy growth of the silkworm and economic traits are largely influenced by the nutritional status of mulberry leaves fed to silkworm (1). Massive use of high dosage of chemical fertilizers leads to depletion of nutrients and toxicity to the silkworms. Application of organic manure to mulberry crop not only increased growth but also nutritional quality of the mulberry leaves which influences silkworm growth and its economic traits. Also, the frequent use of chemical fertilizers for a prolonged period deteriorates the soil characteristics and affects the availability and uptake of nutrients to the plants (2). Application of organic manure improves the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil with direct on moisture retention, root growth, nutrient conservation, etc. The cost of the inorganic fertilizers can be reduced by using traditional application of organic manures which can be reduced by indigenous production by farmers themselves thereby effective utilization of sericulture waste minimize the environment pollution and good alternative to restrict the use of inorganic fertilizers. Hence, the present investigation was carried out with the objective of assessing the effect of compost on growth and yield of mulberry.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

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An experiment was conducted at the Department of Sericulture, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore. An experiment was laid out with V1 mulberry in randomized block design with seven treatments and three replications per treatment. The experiment was repeated twice in four year old mulberry plants. Before initiating the experiment the mulberry plants were pruned, weeds were removed and earthing up was done. SLPW compost @ 6 tonnes /ha/yr, vermicompost 6 tonnes/ha/yr, FYM 20 tonnes/ha/yr were applied at 15 days interval of pruning. Combinations of SLPW + FYM, SLPW + Vermicompost were also applied apart from chemical fertilizers at the rate of 300:120:120 kg /ha/ yr. A control without applying manures was also maintained separately. The data on growth and yield parameters were recorded on 30th and 60th day after application of compost. Plants were selected randomly and labeled in each plot for recording growth and yield attributes viz., plant height, number of leaves per plant, number of branches per plant, shoot weight and yield per hectare.

Plant samples were collected from each treatment at chosen definite intervals for analyzing the nutrient status of mulberry leaves. The samples were first air dried, later oven dried at 60-70°C to attain constant weight. The dried samples were ground in a Willey mill with stainless steel blades and stored in labeled containers for further chemical analysis of nutrients viz., Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium contents of the leaves were analyzed and expressed as percentage on the dry weight of mulberry leaves (3).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The treatment T4 (Silkworm litter - pupal waste (SLPW) compost + Vermicompost) recorded significantly higher plant height (164.4 cm) followed by the treatment T6 (NPK fertilizers) (161 cm). The lowest plant height of 147 cm was recorded in the T7 treatment (untreated). The maximum number of leaves (222) per plant were obtained in the T4 (SLPW compost + Vermicompost) due to the combined application of SLPW compost + Vermicompost increased leaf yield. The minimum numbers of leaves (105) were observed in the control (T7) (Table 1).

Table 1. Influence of SLPW compost and other organic manures on plant height and number of leaves of mulberry

Treatments

Plant height(cm)

Number of leaves/plant

30

60

Mean

30

60

Mean

T1

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149.2

158.5

153.8

120.0

140

130

T2

145.9

157.5

151.7

101.0

130

115

T3

151.7

164.5

158.1

175.0

200

188

T4

156.2

170.6

163.4

193.0

250

222

T5

146.4

155.3

150.9

130.0

190

160

T6

154.7

168.2

161.5

187.0

197

192

T7

143.1

150.9

147.0

90.0

120

105

Mean

149.6

160.8

155.2

142

175

159

SE.d

0.748

5.370

0.872

0.854

C.D(0.05)

1.630

11.700

1.901

1.861

T1 - SLPW Compost @ 6000 Kg/ha/yr, T2- Farmyard manure (FYM) @ 20000 kg/ha/yr, T3 - Vermicompost (VC) @ 6000 kg/ha/yr , T4- SLPW Compost @ 6000 kg/ha/yr + VC @ 3000 kg /ha/yr, T5- SLPW Compost @6000 kg/ha/yr + FYM @10000 kg/ha/yr, T6- NPK Fertilizers @ 320: 120:120 NPK/kg/ha/yr, T7 -Control.

Highest chlorophyll content (107 mg g-1) was observed in T4 treatment due to combined application of SLPW compost + Vermicompost which was significantly better than all other treatments and lowest chlorophyll content of 87 mg g-1 was noticed in T7 (untreated) (Table 2).

Table 2. Influence of SLPW compost other organic manures on Physiological analysis of

mulberry

Treatments

Total chlorophyll content(mg/g)

Moisture content (%)

30

60

Mean

30

60

Mean

T1

86

120

103

72.3

70.5

71.4

T2

83

116

100

71.0

69.0

70.0

T3

77

102

90

77.6

73.5

75.5

T4

90

123

107

79.4

75.6

77.5

T5

81

107

94

75.2

71.0

73.1

T6

83

110

97

78.4

74.5

76.4

T7

74

99

87

70.2

66.7

68.5

Mean

76

105

97

74.9

71.5

73.2

SE.d

1.579

1.578

0.366

0.717

C.D(0.05)

3.441

3.439

0.799

1.563

T1 - SLPW Compost @ 6000 Kg/ha/yr, T2- Farmyard manure (FYM) @ 20000 kg/ha/yr, T3 - Vermicompost (VC) @ 6000 kg/ha/yr , T4- SLPW Compost @ 6000 kg/ha/yr + VC @ 3000 kg /ha/yr, T5- SLPW Compost @6000 kg/ha/yr + FYM @10000 kg/ha/yr, T6- NPK Fertilizers @ 320: 120:120 NPK/kg/ha/yr, T7 -Control.

The positive effect of organic manures on chlorophyll content of mulberry leaves might be attributed to the fact that N is a constituent of chlorophyll molecule and all amino acids in proteins and lipids that acting as a structural compounds of the chloroplast (4). Moisture content in mulberry leaves is a very important factor which influences on silkworm growth. In the present study, treatment T4 (SLPW compost + Vermicompost) recorded significantly higher moisture content of 77.5 percent increased the keeping quality of the mulberry leaves thereby, saving the time in picking of mulberry leaves. This was followed by the treatment T6 (NPK fertilizers) (76.4%). The lowest moisture of 68.1 percent was registered in T7 (untreated).

There was significant increase in N content (3.11% ) when mulberry was treated with SLPW + Vermicompost (T4), which was followed by T3 (Vermicompost) (2.80%) and minimum N content of 2.4 percent was recorded in T7 treatment (untreated). The maximum phosphorus content (0.39%) was recorded in T4 (SLPW + Vermicompost) (T4) and minimum value (0.24%) was registered in T7 (untreated). Maximum potassium content (2.48%) was observed in combined treatment of SLPW compost + Vermicompost (T4) followed by T6 treatment (NPK fertilizers) (2.40%). This was followed by the treatments, T3 (Vermicompost alone) (2.35%) and

T1 (SLPW compost alone) (2.34%) which were on par with each other. Minimum value of 0.24 percent was recorded in T7 (untreated) (Table 3).

Table 3. Influence of SLPW compost and other organic manures on Nutrient content in mulberry leaf.

Treatment

Nitrogen (%)

Phosphorus (%)

Potassium (%)

30th day

60th day

Mean

30th day

60th day

Mean

30th day

60th day

Mean

T1

2.38

2.50

2.44

0.32

0.33

0.32

2.31

2.34

2.34

T2

2.31

2.80

2.56

0.28

0.30

0.29

2.03

2.20

2.20

T3

2.50

3.10

2.80

0.36

0.37

0.36

2.29

2.35

2.35

T4

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2.81

3.40

3.11

0.38

0.41

0.39

2.46

2.48

2.48

T5

2.40

2.80

2.60

0.29

0.34

0.32

2.25

2.29

2.29

T6

2.41

3.00

2.71

0.36

0.38

0.37

2.37

2.40

2.40

T6

2.30

2.50

2.40

0.21

0.27

0.24

2.02

2.15

2.15

Mean

2.45

2.87

2.66

0.31

0.34

0.33

2.25

2.32

2.32

SE.d

0.009

0.079

0.008

0.009

0.015

0.009

C.D (0.05)

0.020

0.173

0.019

0.020

0.034

0.020

T1 - SLPW Compost @ 6000 Kg/ha/yr, T2- Farmyard manure (FYM) @ 20000 kg/ha/yr, T3 - Vermicompost (VC) @ 6000 kg/ha/yr , T4- SLPW Compost @ 6000 kg/ha/yr + VC @ 3000 kg /ha/yr, T5- SLPW Compost @6000 kg/ha/yr + FYM @10000 kg/ha/yr, T6- NPK Fertilizers @ 320: 120:120 NPK/kg/ha/yr, T7 -Control.

Combined application of SLPW compost + Vermicompost helped in supply of nutrients for mineralization process and improving the physical and chemical properties of the soil which are mainly essential for luxuriant growth of mulberry. It also enhances the microbial activity which influenced the uptake of nutrients from soil to plants. (5) utilized the silkworm litter as an organic fertilizer and analysed the silkworm excreta which revealed that higher composition of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and carbon when compared to cow dung or FYM (6). The significant increase in leaf yield may be due to slow release of nutrients, minor and trace elements from organic sources which have contributed for better plant growth. Similar findings were in agreement with the observed previously by (7) and (8) who reported that the use of combination of sericultural waste and vermicompost resulted in gradual release of macro nutrients to the plants increased the leaf yield. These results clearly indicated that the combined application of SLPW compost + Vermicompost increased the NPK to the mulberry plants than control which resulted in active metabolic process, increase water use efficiency; improvement in leaf expansion, axillary bud growth, shoot canopy, improved photosynthetic surface area and carbohydrate utilization.

The maximum shoot weight (46.3 g) was observed in T4 (SLPW compost + Vermicompost), followed by the treatment T6 (NPK fertilizers) (41.9 g)

the lowest value (33.7 g) was recorded in T7 (untreated). Among the treatments, the T4 (SLPW compost + Vermicompost) recorded the maximum number of branches (17.5) while lowest (9) number of branches was recorded in the treatment T7 (untreated). Highest leaf yield (32,098.5 kg) was obtained in T4 (SLPW compost + Vermicompost) followed by T3 (Vermicompost alone) (27,781.5) and lowest yield (15,554.0 kg) was recorded in treatment T7 (untreated) (Table 4) (Fig 1).

Table 4. Influence of SLPW compost other organic manures on Yield attributes of

mulberry

Treatments

No of branches/plant

Shoot weight

Yield /kg/ha/ year

30

60

Mean

30

60

Mean

30

60

Mean

T1

10.0

16.0

13.0

30.8

50.8

40.8

17775.0

20739.0

19257.0

T2

9.0

14.0

11.5

24.3

45.2

34.8

14962.0

19258.0

17110.0

T3

13.0

18.0

15.5

26.5

47.7

37.1

25934.0

29629.0

27781.5

T4

15.0

20.0

17.5

33.5

59.1

46.3

27162.0

37035.0

32098.5

T5

12.0

17.0

14.5

24.2

46.9

35.6

19258.0

28146.0

23702.0

T6

14.0

19.0

16.5

28.4

55.4

41.9

26317.0

29183.0

27750.0

T7

7.0

11.0

9.0

23.7

43.7

33.7

13332.0

17776.0

15554.0

Mean

11.4

16.4

13.9

28

51

39

20677.1

25966.6

23321.9

SE.d

0.617

0.872

0.596

1.650

0.845

0.755

C.D(0.05)

1.344

1.901

1.299

3.595

1.841

1.647

T1 - SLPW Compost @ 6000 Kg/ha/yr, T2- Farmyard manure (FYM) @ 20000 kg/ha/yr, T3 - Vermicompost (VC) @ 6000 kg/ha/yr , T4- SLPW Compost @ 6000 kg/ha/yr + VC @ 3000 kg /ha/yr, T5- SLPW Compost @6000 kg/ha/yr + FYM @10000 kg/ha/yr, T6- NPK Fertilizers @ 320: 120:120 NPK/kg/ha/yr, T7 -Control

Fig 1. Influence of SLPW compost and other organic manures on yield of mulberry

leaf.

The superiority in yield was mainly due to improvement of growth parameters thereby increasing yield with the combined application of SLPW compost + Vermicompost than individual application. (Table 4). Compost activated enormous population of bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes released phytohormones which stimulated the plant growth (9). (8) also reported that composted manure produced using mulberry waste in sericultural farm and silkworm litter was found to be more efficient than FYM of cow dung origin in the production of mulberry leaves in terms of quantity and quality. The application of the SLPW compost might have increased the release of macro as well as micronutrients, which interm increased dry matter production, plant height and nutrient uptake leading to higher mulberry leaf yield. Compost or organic manures caused favourable changes in soil reaction and enriched the nutrient status of soil (9). These beneficial effects of compost on soil ultimately resulted in increased crop yields. Instead of applying rapid nutrient releasing and effective fertilizers, it is better to apply organic manures as they support better growth of mulberry plants and in turn higher yield and quality (10).

Thus from the present findings, it is concluded that combined application of SLPW compost (produced out of sericultural wastes comprising silkworm litter and silkworm pupae) + Vermicompost increased nutrient availability and sustain it over a period of time. It is highly beneficial for mulberry cultivation and is much effective than conventional use of FYM and other organic manures. Further research will be needed to study the effect of mulberry leaves grown with sericultural compost and vermicompost on the impact of silkworm growth and its economic traits.