Pebrine is a serious disease in muga silkworm, Antheraea assamensis and is locally known as “phutuka” by silkworm rearers in Assam. The disease impacts severely in silkworm cropping seasons leading to 20-30% loss. The disease is caused by Nosema sp. (microsporadia) and is vertically transmitted from the mother moth to eggs. Detection of pebrine spores is an utmost prerequisite for quality seed production and is the basis of muga sericulture in Assam. Typically light microscopy based technique is utilized in farmers field or in large silkworm grainages for producing disease free layings (DFLs). In this process the adult mother moth’s abdomen is crushed in a motor pestle and a smear is prepared for observation of spores under the microscopic field. Subsequently, all layings detected positive by examination of corresponding mother moth are discarded to minimize the transmission of pebrine disease and quality silkworm rearing. In the history of Nosema (Pebrine) Detection, Foldscope breaks the Bottle neck concept.
In this project, we are comparing the utility of foldscope microscope with conventional light microscope to see its applicability and usability by farmer’s in quality seed production. This will have significant impact as it is portable and can be easily purchased by farmers at a minimal cost.