The research activities of the institute aim at functional characterization of genes, isolation and characterization of pathogens as well as novel genes and promoters, creation and maintenance of high end and high throughput facilities and development of transgenics. The centre has a congenial working environment that includes Office-cum-Laboratory building space and research facilities, manpower, expertise including linkages and collaborations with other institutes.
SBRL has successfully developed and is continuously striving to come out with useful technologies as an outcome of the research projects. In this direction, the institute has developed three Bombyx mori bivoltine lines tolerant to Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrosis virus [BmNPV] through introgression of NPV resistance markers into NPV susceptible CSR2 through Marker Assisted Selection. Further, transgenic mulberry silkworm lines of CSR4 and CSR27 bivoltine breeds are being developed through RNAi approaches that presently ensure 30% enhanced resistance to BmNPV. A PCR based multiplex detection system has been developed for the simultaneous detection of microspridia, nucleopolyhedrosis virus, and densovirus which is filed for patenting. Similarly, PCR based diagnostic tool has been developed for exclusive detection of transovarially and non-transovarially transmitted microsporidians that cause the deadly pebrine disease insilkworms.
Protein gene markers have been identified based on gene expression level variability in B.mori after uzi fly infection that can be utilized to screen B.mori germplasm for easy and accurate demarcation of immunocompetentaccessions within a short time frame. The categorization of multivoltine B.mori eggs for diapause induction based on expression levels of major genes contributing to egg diapause has been demonstrated leading to cost effective conservation of multivoltine eggs up to six months without loss of quantitative traits. Specific SSR markers associated with the tasar silkworm ecotype Jatta Daba, Molecular markers associated with the muga line WWS1 that showed high divergence and Genetic markers associated with altitude for the Lakhimpur eri silkworm population were identified which revealed the uniqueness of these lines suggesting their conservation on priority as they are very useful for breed improvement. 28 SSR markers developed for characterization of diapausing and non-diapausing silkworms for higher andlower cocoon characters. ISSR markers identified that could delineate fifteen eri silkworm populations with genetic homogeneity and less variability having positive correlation of genetic distance with geographic distance and negative with altitude between populations.
The Indian isolate of Densovirus type 2 [DNV-2] was also identified which revealed high virulence and widespread occurrence under field conditions causing flacherie disease in B. mori. nsd-2 gene for resistance to DNV-2 was demonstrated to be useful in identifying DNV-2 resistant B.mori germplasm accessions for developing DNV-2 resistant breeds.DNA barcoding of 13 mulberry species using Chloroplast genes matK 390, matK Morus, trnL-F and rbcL indicated that, they are closely related. The institute has more than 60 research publications in peer- reviewed international and national journals.
SBRL would always integrate newer innovative technologies and approaches to successfully meet the formidable challenges in sustainable and environmental friendly manner.