Contribution of esterase isozymes during mating in silkworm, Bombyx mori L

Krishnamurthy, N.B.; Umakanth, R.S.

Indian Journal of Sericulture 36(1): 11-16


ISSN/ISBN: 0445-7722
Accession: 003079149

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Studies on the isozymes of alpha and beta esterases in the virgin female and male, mated female and male moths as well in mated females after oviposition (24 hours after mating) in three races of silkworm, Bombyx mori L. namely, univoltine Haulak, bivoltine Kalimpong A (KA) and multivoltine Nistari were undertaken to understand the role of esterases in mating and their contribution to fecundity and viability. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic technique (PAGE) as described by Davis (1964) was employed for this study. The number of dark, moderate and faint bands visualized in the zymogram patterns formed the basis for determining the activity of the alpha and beta esterases. The above studies have established higher concentration of either esterases in virgin males of all the races under study whereas during mating, the males contribute certain amount of esterases to the females. Further, it was also noted that the males after mating and females after oviposition exhibited a proportionate reduction in the amount of esterases. The amount of esterases contributed to females from males during mating was found to be higher in univoltines and bivoltines than the multivoltines. The role of esterases with regard to fitness parameters of fecundity and viability are discussed.