Central Sericultural Germplasm Resources Centre, Hosur- 635 109 P.O. Box. . 44, Thally Road, Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu
Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Mysore 570 008 Manandavadi Road, Srirampura, Mysore Karnataka
Exploitation of wild relatives of crop plants to a large extent depends on the efficient use of germplasm resources available in natural habitat and the centre of diversity. The mulberry, sole food for silkworm is cultivated for the production and development of silkworm industry. Four species of mulberry viz., M. indica L., M. alba L., M. laevigata Wall., and M. serrata Roxb., are reported in India. Among these species, M. serrata is endemic to North Western Himalayan belt and growing in the higher altitude ranging from 560 ? 2200m above mean sea level. As a part of survey and exploration, 54 samples of M. serrata were collected from three states i.e., Uttaranchal (45), Himachal Pradesh (07) and Jammu and Kashmir (02). During collection, morphological variability, details of habitat viz., natural abode of plant and other related data were recorded. The collected materials were established in the Ex-situ field gene bank of Central Sericultural Germplasm Resources Centre (CSGRC) for further study. The morphological, anatomical, reproductive and growth traits showed variation among the different collections of M. serrata. This paper deals with biodiversity, geographical distribution, utilization and conservation of M. serrata for posterity.