Scientific Name Bombyx mori
Common Name Silkworm
Taxonomy ID 7091
Lineage cellular organisms > Eukaryota > Opisthokonta > Metazoa > Eumetazoa > Bilateria > Protostomia > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Arthropoda > Mandibulata > Pancrustacea > Hexapoda > Insecta > Dicondylia > Pterygota > Neoptera > Endopterygota > Amphiesmenoptera > Lepidoptera > Glossata > Neolepidoptera > Heteroneura > Ditrysia > Obtectomera > Bombycoidea > Bombycidae > Bombycinae > Bombyx
External Links NCBI; Specialized Database
Representative Assembly ASM15162v1 GCF_000151625.1 DNA GFF RNA Protein

The silkworm is the larva or caterpillar of the domesticated silk moth, Bombyx mori . It is an economically important insect, being a primary producer of silk. A silkworm's preferred food is white mulberry leaves (monophagous). Domestic silk moths are closely dependent on humans for reproduction, as a result of millennia of selective breeding. Wild silk moths are different (having not been selectively bred) from their domestic cousins; they are not as commercially viable in the production of silk. The silkworm Bombyx mori has been domesticated for silk production for about 5,000 years and intensively studied. As a result, knowledge of its biology and genetics is the most advanced of any lepidopteran species. Comparison with its wild ancestor B. mandarina provides the opportunity to examine the effects of artificial selection leading to domestication at the genome level.Lepidoptera genomes are unusual in that they have holocentric chromosomes with diffuse kinetochores; as a result, they are able to retain chromosome fragments through many cell divisions. Silkworm is a female-heterogametic species with a ZW chromosome combination specifying female, and ZZ male. Interactions between Lepidoptera and baculoviruses have led to important biotechnological advances in recombinant protein production, and point toward enhancing the efficacy of these environmentally benign biological control agents. Other viruses (polydnaviruses) are able to modulate the lepidopteran endocrine and immune systems, and are vectored by hymenopteran parasites used in biological control.