A review on attributes of Vitamin C with particular reference to the silkworm, Bombyx Mori Linn
Aabid Khaliq Tantray
Vitamin C (VC) is a water soluble derivative of sugar molecule which includes all the compounds having antiscorbutic activity. This multifunctional compound which melts at 190-192°C with decomposition is a strong monobasic acid widely distributed in nature, particularly in the plant kingdom. Most insects including silkworm are unable to synthesize the substance. The animals which cannot synthesize VC, lack an enzyme, L-gulono-1, 4-lactone oxidase, which is essential for synthesis of the VC immediate precursor 2-keto-l-gulonolactone. All plant feeding insects including silkworm are reported to need VC. VC is known to serve as phagostimulant and growth promoter for phytophagous insects and its deprivation in diet results in impaired development. In silkworm, dietary fortification of mulberry leaves with VC has been reported to increase the food consumption, coefficient of utilization and economic traits larval weight within optimum limits. The excessive amounts of VC supplementation to silkworm diet have negative impact causing decrease in food intake and cocoon characteristics due to hypervitaminosis.