Indian Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 525–529 | Cite as

Isolation and Molecular Identification of Microsporidian Pathogen Causing Nosemosis in Muga Silkworm, Antheraea assamensis Helfer (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae)

  • G. SubrahmanyamEmail author
  • Vijaya Gowri Esvaran
  • Kangayam Muthusamy Ponnuvel
  • W. Hassan
  • M. Chutia
  • R. Das
Short communications


Microsporidia are intracellular fungal parasites and they are the most common pathogens for sericulture. Microsporidian sp. can cause pebrine, a dreadful disease and lead to destructive disorder in Muga silkworm, Antheraea assamensis Helfer by vertical and horizontal transmission. This disease is the key factor obstructing the developmental progress of Muga culture in India. Nevertheless, molecular identification and characterization of pathogen associated with pebrine disease in A. assamensis is not yet established. Insect bioassay studies revealed that microsporidian infection in Muga silkworm, A. assamensis Helfer significantly reduced (P < 0.005) cocoon weight, pupal weight, shell weight and silk ratios. A new set of PCR primers suitable for amplification of small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) of microsporidia infecting A. assamensis have been designed. The amplicon was cloned, sequenced and analysed. Microsporidia pathogen of wild silk moth A. assamensis has been identified at genus level as Nosema sp. AA1. Phylogeny of Nosema sp. AA1 was constructed on the basis of SSU-rRNA sequence and it has a close evolutionary relationship with microsporidian pathogens of other wild silkmoths. The arrangement and organization of the rRNA genes inferred that Nosema sp. AA1 belongs to true Nosema group and not to members of the Nosema/Vairimorpha group.


Antheraea assamensis Helfer Microsporidia Pebrine disease Small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) Molecular detection Nosema sp. AA1 



Authors are thankful to Director, CMER&TI, Lahdoigarh for valuable guidance. We thank advanced level DBT-Biotech Hub, CMER&TI for providing equipment facilities. Central Silk Board (CSB), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India is highly acknowledged for financial support.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1680 kb)


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Copyright information

© Association of Microbiologists of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Subrahmanyam
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vijaya Gowri Esvaran
    • 2
  • Kangayam Muthusamy Ponnuvel
    • 2
  • W. Hassan
    • 2
  • M. Chutia
    • 1
  • R. Das
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Muga Eri Research and Training Institute (CMER&TI)Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of IndiaLahdoigarah, JorhatIndia
  2. 2.Genomics Division, Seri-Biotech Research LaboratoryCentral Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of IndiaKodathi, BengaluruIndia

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