Prashanth A Sangannavar, Kunjupillai Vijayan
Mulberry (Morus L) is an important tree crop that provides sustainable economic and environmental benefits to a large number of people who live in rural and suburban areas of Asian countries especially of China and India. The sustainability of sericulture in a region is largely dependent on the mulberry leaf productivity as mulberry leaf production alone cost more than 60% the total silkworm cocoon cost. Thus, all sericulturally important countries have been striving to develop varieties that adopt well to the agroclimatic conditions and respond well to the cultural practices. Although the species delimitation in mulberry is still a point of great debate, it is believed that more than 68 species exist under the genus Morus and out them only a few species such as M. alba, M. bombycis, M. indica, M. latifolia, M. multicaulis (for foliage) and M. nigra (for fruit) are cultivated. The remaining species along with many landraces of the cultivated species are considered as wild, therefore, they have been mostly neglected. The recent observation that the genetic pool of the domesticated species is shrinking and the wild species M. serrata, M. laevigata, and M. tartarica hold genes for several important traits like drought, salinity and frost resistance has generated on conservation and utilization of the wild mulberry genetic resources. Thus, countries across the globe have been adopting both conventional and modern biotechnological methods to collect, characterize, conserve and utilize large amount of genetic resources in their crop improvement programs. This, review is, thus, undertaken to give an overview of the role of biotechnology on exploration, characterization, and conservation of wild germplasm for crop improvement in mulberry.
Published Date: 2020-12-24; Received Date: 2020-12-03